Book of the Month: Beyond Home Plate
Beyond Home Plate: Jackie Robinson on Life after Baseball
Edited by Michael G. Long
Jackie Robinson is one of the most revered public figures of the twentieth century. He is remembered for both his athletic prowess and his strong personal character. The world knows him as the man who crossed baseball’s color line, but there is much more to his legacy. At the conclusion of his baseball career, Robinson continued in his pursuit of social progress through his work as a writer. Beyond Home Plate, an anthology of Jackie Robinson’s columns in the New York Post and the New York Amsterdam News, offers fresh insight into the Hall of Famer’s life and work following his historic years on the baseball diamond.
Robinson’s syndicated newspaper columns afforded him the opportunity to provide rich social commentary while simultaneously exploring his own life and experiences. He was free to write about any subject of his choosing, and he took full advantage of this license, speaking his mind about everything from playing Santa to confronting racism in the Red Sox nation, from loving his wife Rachel to despising Barry Goldwater, from complaining about Cassius Clay’s verbosity to teaching Little Leaguers how to lose well.
Robinson wrote to prod and provoke, inflame and infuriate, and sway and persuade. With their pointed opinions, his columns reveal that the mature Robinson was a truly American prophet, a civil rights leader in his own right, furious with racial injustice and committed to securing first class citizenship for all. These fascinating columns also depict Robinson as an indebted son, a devoted husband, a tenderhearted father, and a hardworking community leader. Robinson believed that his life after his baseball career was far more important than all of his baseball exploits. Beyond Home Plate shows why he believed this so fervently.
“Beyond baseball, beyond race, beyond politics, Jackie Robinson stands as one of the most important figures in American history, and Beyond Home Plate shows us why. Michael Long’s terrific book is an indispensable addition to the story of Robinson’s incredible journey.”
—Jonathan Eig, author of Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season