The National Baseball Hall of Fame brought Jackie Robinson’s and Larry Doby’s plaques from Cooperstown to Memphis today for the Civil Rights Game.
Fans were allowed to view the plaques of the two players that broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947. From MLB.com:
“Our hope is that a fan will come and realize that Larry Doby and Jackie Robinson weren’t just fictitious historical creations,” Hall of Fame spokesman Brad Horn said. “That they are indeed men who, in spite of the challenges they faced, excelled. Larry Doby and Jackie Robinson are not in the Hall of Fame because they were pioneers. They’re in the Hall of Fame because they were exceptional baseball talents, and that baseball talent was only brought to life because they were given the chance.”
The Hall has only allowed Roberto Clemente’s plaque to go to Puerto Rico, Juan Marichal’s to the Dominican Republic, and Ted Williams to Fenway Park after he died. It’s a very special event for plaques to leave the Hall.
“It’s very rare in general to have a plaque leave Cooperstown,” Horn said, “primarily because when a visitor comes to the museum, we want them to feel that they’ve seen the entire experience. But this is such a historic opportunity for us to educate fans here in Memphis, fans of the game, about their contributions on the baseball field.”
I saw most of the game on ESPN today and there appeared to be a good number of Mets fans there. Major League Baseball is thinking about moving the game around to different cities in future seasons and possibly making a regular season game the Civil Rights Game. I think both are great ideas.