Berkow: Jackie Robinson challenges Elston Howard

From Ira Berkow at The National Pastime Museum on January 31, 2018:

In my mind’s eye, going back to when I was 15 years old in 1955, I can still vividly see Jackie Robinson in that dramatic, base-daring style of his — arms flapping, feet dancing — challenging the Yankees rookie left-fielder, the first black Yankee, Elston Howard. I had skipped school that afternoon — I was a sophomore at Sullivan High School on the North Side of Chicago — to watch on television the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees in a World Series game.

Robinson, in my recollection, had taken a wide turn after rounding second base. I didn’t remember how he had arrived there, but I assumed over the years that he had gotten to first base on a hit, walk, or error and then advanced from first on a teammate’s base hit to left.

I had never written the story, nor spoken about it on television or in radio interviews, until my recent appearance on MLB Now when the television host, Brian Kenny, asked me about Jackie Robinson. I mentioned that ’55 Series moment and set the scene for him, to the best of my memory, though I didn’t remember exactly in which game it occurred.

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Originally published: January 31, 2018. Last Updated: January 31, 2018.