Observations from the Upper Deck

1892681The Cleveland Brewers? The Milwaukee Indians? That and more on Jackie Robinson, Don IMUS (I Messed Up…Sorry?), and Virginia Tech’s shocking event.

They say, “April showers bring May flowers” but not so in the Midwest this year. April has brought snow to many areas later than usual. One city that was part of this was the Cleveland Indians. They were unable to play opening weekend at Jacobs Field due to snow on the field. The Milwaukee Brewers stepped up to the plate.

Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanaiso opened up Miller Park and made sure the dome was closed for the Indians as they played opening weekend in Brew Town. Charging $10 for anywhere you wanted to sit, they drew an average of 18,000 fans for the three game series. Not bad for a city who was about to give up on baseball not too many years ago when there were rumors they were going to Charlotte, North Carolina.

For any of you movie buffs, it brought back many memories of 1989. Hollywood came to Milwaukee and filmed the movie “Major League” with the fictional Cleveland Indians making their home at the now defunct County Stadium. They filled the stands with plenty of extras who were hoping for their 15 minutes of fame. Long time Brewers announcer Bob Uechre played the play-by-play man in the movie with his usual schtick that he’s been known for so many years.

April 15 is the final day for us to file our taxes and the tax accountants stop working 18 hour days. April 15, 2007 marked the 60-year anniversary of Brooklyn Dodger Jackie Robinson becoming the first African-American to take the baseball field breaking the color barrier.

Major league parks across the country celebrated the milestone by having one player wear the number 42 during the game. The entire Los Angeles Dodgers team wore 42 to commemorate the achievement. Jackie Robinson’s widow, Rachel, was on hand at Dodger Stadium along with Henry Aaron, Frank Robinson and many more.

Jackie entered at a time when there weren’t many opportunities for African-Americans in sports or the work world in general. He garnered respect by going out and playing the game like it should be, with hard work and dedication.

He became pen pals with a young man from Sheboygan, Wisconsin and was profiled on CBS Evening News over this past weekend. Whenever the Brooklyn Dodgers would come to Milwaukee, Jackie had a seat ready for him and his family. They wrote back and forth for many years. Robinson would tell the young man of the ups and downs of playing baseball. He knew what he faced but did it with dignity and showed African-Americans before him and ahead of him that they were capable of doing anything.

Jackie Robinson isn’t the only one who wore number 42 that made a difference on and off the field. The late Pat Tillman, former NFL player for the Arizona Cardinals did as well. Tillman left a multi-million dollar contract behind to join the Army and their most elite group, the Rangers.

Going and defending our country is what he knew he had to do after the attacks on our country September 11, 2001. He felt a void and didn’t care about the riches and fame he left behind on the football field. Another man to look up to when it comes to selfishness.

Going from two men who were examples in their own way to a man who made an example of himself. Now former CBS radio host Don Imus did a fine job in making himself look like a jackass over this past week. To say the things he did about the Rutgers University women’s basketball team were uncalled for and despicable.

He has met privately with the team and their coach, C. Vivian Stringer, and they have spoken about the words that were said. They accepted his apology and have moved on.

Imus isn’t the only one who has “opened mouth and inserted foot”. Howard Cosell, Rush Limbaugh, and Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder are just a few who have said things they shouldn’t have. It didn’t take long for the networks to show them the door.

There are so many things that have been and will continue to be said about his statement. If anything, it makes us take a hard look at how we treat others and what we say. Did he mean to say it? No one will ever know except him. If it was a mistake, goodness knows that we have learned from it and hopefully we will be more careful in what we say in the future.

Our prayers and thoughts go out to the people of Virginia Tech University after being subject to one of the worst tragedies in American history. With 33 people who have lost their lives so far in the incident, including the shooter, no one will probably ever know why it happened.

With all that has happened, it is important that we remember the ones who have been affected and while words and actions can hurt, they make us stronger as individuals.

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