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Posts Tagged ‘Pee Wee Reese’


I am a baseball fan. I also have a family that resembles the United Nations, or the Church Triumphant depending on your preferred metaphor.

So it made sense for me to see 42. It isn’t the Jackie Robinson story. It really is just the story of 2 years of his life.

You get very little background into his childhood, and what brought him to the point where he changed American history. All we learn is that he father left when Jack was 6 months old. Perhaps this is why he hated to depend on anyone. Just a thought. But it was that toughness it created that enabled him to be the first black player in modern Major League Baseball. As the film Jackie and Branch Rickey both note: God built him to last.

God is not absent from this film. That comment by Jackie was about the only time we see a faith in God in Jackie’s life (that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there, just that the movie doesn’t show it). Rickey’s faith is much more prominent in the movie. “He’s a Methodist. I’m a Methodist. God’s a Methodist.”

Seeing Harrison Ford, an old and over-weight Harrison Ford, play a man of faith is a sight to behold. It is called acting. But Branch Rickey was not some domesticated caricature of a wimpy Christian. He smokes cigars and the occasional profanity leaves his lips. Branch and his relationship with Jackie is one of the main threads of the movie.

It begins with Branch Rickey deciding that now was the time to do what he’s always wanted to do. Over the course of the movie he is often asked “why?” and he provides a variety of answers. Near the end, during a moment alone with Jackie after getting spiked, he finally lets Jackie in on the truth. He had long seen the injustice. That injustice had stolen from him his love for baseball. Jackie gave him that love back.

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