From SABR member Dave Kaplan at The National Pastime Museum on November 11, 2013:
For the most part, the exquisite portrayal of Jackie Robinson’s pioneering first major league season in the movie “42” captured the moral tone of the late 1940s. The racial intolerance and viciousness shown toward baseball’s barrier-breaking hero were real. Not so real was Robinson’s Hollywood-sized reaction to his late-season home run against one of his nemeses, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Fritz Ostermueller (who was actually lefty, not righty as portrayed).
In the film, Jackie just stands and stares at the disappearing baseball in self-admiration before beginning a slow trot around the bases. Clearly he’s pleased with himself. Clearly he showed up the pitcher. And clearly it’s a historical inaccuracy. Such behavior may be baseball’s norm today, but it wasn’t in those days. No way.
“Nobody did that stuff,” said Yogi Berra, who broke in with the New York Yankees the same year (1947) as Robinson did with the Brooklyn Dodgers. “You just respected the game, nobody did any of that showboat stuff.”
Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/yogi-got-and-gave-plenty-respect
Originally published: November 11, 2013. Last Updated: November 11, 2013.