Sunday, May 31, 2015

Creation of a Myth

There are those of us who read the familiar portrayal of Ty Cobb as a racist. It turns out none of this was true, but don't look for Ken Burns to apologize anytime soon. Burns added political spin to his documentary and did no independent research on Conb.

The era of Jackie Robinson is more complex than generally presented. Blacks were banned from baseball. Yet the stories of Jews being banned from hotels, country clubs and passed over at elite universities for fear of over representation was very real. Other groups faced similar obstacles including job description stimulation. In essence part of the problem is it is not presented as part of a larger story. Robinson was one of many people who broke glass ceilings.

The story of the Jewish resorts is part of the story. Jews were excluded from resorts and country clubs. They built a parallel series of resorts and bungalow colonies in the Carskills. Similarly Blacks were excluded and they built a negro league. Of course excluding anyone on the basis of race or religion is wrong, but it was s reality in that time period. In the world of Ty Cobb. Ex slaves and confederates were neighbors. Veterans of Indian wars were telling tales to children.

Cobb was no Red neck. He appears to have treated many with decency.

Times were different then and so was baseball. It was more of a carnival wrestling type of experience. In the earliest days players fixed games. They went on barnstorming tours and played all types of people in the off season including negro leaguers.

Babe Ruth changed the game with his moon shot home runs and Paul Bunyan like persona. The challenge of baseball in the modern era is to reinvent itself as family fun with players that are loveable. In an era of free agency it is rare that a team has an icon who stays in uniform for ten years or more. The big money and the steroids ruined the
Game. I couldn't pick Mike Trout out of s police line up.

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