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What I found fascinating was just how quickly the best of the young Negro League players were drafted into the major leagues once Branch Rickey broke the color line by hiring Jackie Robinson. It was clear that all of the major league owners already knew the talents of the black ballplayers that they had refused to let into their league.
After Jackie Robinson the most important black in baseball history is Reggie Jackson, I really mean that.
I liked Jackie Robinson because he was cool to watch, not because he was black. Every time you turned around, he was hitting a triple or making a great play in the field or, best of all, stealing home.
All though I didn't meet him. His legend and his saga and his story is just that. Jackie Robinson, we all have to tip our hat to him. Because he made the game available to guys like me.
As much as I loved Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Junior Gilliam, and Don Newcombe, I loved watching Willie Mays play more than all of them combined, even if he played for the 'bad guys!'