Thursday, November 20, 2008

An American Hero

Here's a fascinating interview conducted in 1964 with Jackie Robinson.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Between the "white lines"

This History of Baseball and Bigotry outlines the struggles of our national past time.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Was this what Cousy had to deal with on the playground?

As a 10 year old playing organized baseball, it was pretty easy to identify the really talented ballplayers. Everyone knew that kids with nicknames like "Bunkie" and "Moose" had that something extra that the rest of us -- try as we might -- couldn't duplicate. The kids, the coaches and the parents paid particular attention when B and/or M were on the field. With each succeeding year, B and M distinguished themselves on the diamond. The talent they displayed at the age of 10, 11 and 12 manifested itself over the next half dozen years to the point where Bunkie was drafted by the Boston Red Sox and Moose made it to the major leagues with the California Angels.

I wonder how the turbulence surrounding the young phenom in Connecticut who was banned from playing with his peers will pan out.

How many kids will miss the opportunity to play on the team with this special player? I had a hard time matching my skills with Bunkie and Moose when we played against one another. But I look back and remember the benefits that I obtained simply by being able to play the game -- even though they were in a league of their own.

Care to share a similar experience?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

First Game Memories

I saw my first professional baseball game in 1959 at Pynchon Park on the banks of the Connecticut River in Springfield Massachusetts. The home team, Springfield Giants, were a Double A farm team of the San Francisco Giants. As I recall, the pitcher that day was Juan Marichal. The team was distinguished in that several prominent future major leaguers played for that club: Tom Haller, Jose Pagan, Felipe Alou. The park has since been torn down -- replaced by urban blight -- not too far from the current site of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Springfield has produced a number of famous athletes (not to mention Dr. Seuss) including: Leo Durocher, Allie Reynolds and Nick Buoniconti. Maybe someday another minor league will take root on the banks of the CT River in Springfield.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Baseball Hall of Fame Recognizes Hank Greenberg

When Jackie Robinson broke into the majors, one of the players who supported his efforts was Hank Greenberg. This past weekend, major league baseball sponsored an event in Cooperstown, NY commemorating Greenberg's debut with the Detroit Tigers in 1933. You can learn more about a first ballot HOF inductee and the 75th anniversary celebration at

Sunday, June 29, 2008

An explanation for the name of this blog

Chances are you are well aware of the fact that Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play major league baseball and that he did so with the Brooklyn (now LA) Dodgers in 1947. What you may not know is that the Boston Red Sox were the LAST major league baseball team to integrate. Twelve years later, in 1959, Elijah "Pumpsie" Green was called up from the minors to play for Boston.

Of particular relevance to the name of this blog is the fact that in 1945, a Boston City Councilor by the name of Isadore Muchnick arranged a "tryout" for Jackie Robinson (and two other players) at Fenway Park. Muchnick threatened to oppose the Sox license to play home games on Sundays in Boston if the "tryout" did not occur. Izzy did so because it was the right thing to do.

It was a bold effort -- one that was subsequently brought to completion by Branch Rickey and further capitalized on by the National League.

So, to honor Isadore Muchnick -- this blog is entitled The Izzy Project. We hope to capture stories that are in keeping with this story: blending sports with ethics. Please post comments and stories for us to review.