Hammerin’ Hank the former slugger who played in the 1930’s and 40’s primarily for the Detroit Tigers, was right. In addition to being right, Hank was also Jewish.
And during his career in Major League Baseball, in addition to all of the records he set and the accolades he received, he was the object of slurs from bigoted crowds and opposing players.
When Greenberg played in the minors in Texas he was approached by a new teammate named Jo-Jo White who hailed from Georgia.
When White first saw the monstrous Greenberg, he walked around him and looked him up and down, and finally said, “I’ve never seen a Jew before.”
Greenberg responded, “See anything interesting?”
To which White, who literally thought Jews had horns, said…“You’re just like everyone else.”
The two of them went on to become roommates for five years while playing in the Detroit Tigers organization.
I like hearing about moments like that.
I believe accepting others as they are is incredibly easy if people take the time to just interact with others no matter what one’s pre-conceived ideas about a certain group may be.
A couple of examples of this happened recently in my life…once in my son’s life and Monday night in mine.
My son Ryno, has always been “color-blind”. In fact, Central State University, a predominantly black college in Ohio is still on his short list, but…
Something amusing happened the other day that once again reiterated his refusal to see color in a negative light.
His 9th grade Science class went to King’s Island Amusement park last Friday to complete their unit on designing rollercoasters.
The trip included a lunch. The kids had their choice of several things. Fried Chicken and watermelon was on the menu.
One of his best friends and basketball teammates, who happens to be black, was ahead of him in the line.
His friend ordered fried chicken and watermelon, and Ryno snickered. His friend replied through a chuckle:
“Don’t even say anything, Mahoney.”
Ryno said, “Hee Hee…I won’t.” The lady running the line then asked Ryno what he wanted and Ryno responded, “I’ll have what he’s having.”
Ha!! I dig that. I dig those two kids. I dig their attitude. They joke about their racial differences. They use it as a topic for humor and kinship, not hate.
A similar thing happened to me at work Monday evening. A black guy, who appeared to be a little younger than I, drove into the Beer Mine.
He wanted a blunt wrap in which to wrap his
He looked, laughed, and then said, “Don’t even say it.”
I said, “What?”
Still laughing he said, “You probably think I want the Watermelon flavor.”
I laughed out loud, and said, “Hell I wasn’t thinking that, but that’s funny.”
He then said, “Give me Blueberr---Oh hell, gimme Watermelon. I’m feelin’ stereotypical tonight.”
We both laughed out loud again, and then shot the shit for a minute or two. It was nice.
Greenberg and White became pied pipers. Ryno and his buddy are as well, and that guy I met last night?
For a moment or two so were we…
We didn’t see color in a negative way. We made fun of it in a positive way, and when people do that, the color fades and all that one experiences is the happiness of the pied piper.