Robinson was not only one of the greatest baseball players of all time but he was the first black player to break the barrier and play in the Major Leagues. Indianapolis had the honor of watching him play second base, all be it for the opposing Monarchs from Kansas City, before he joined the majors in 1947. In 2008 Indianapolis had the honor of watching a young player wearing the number 22, Andrew McCutchen, playing the outfield but instead of against us - it was for us. In 2010 McCutchen was already taking his talents to the Major’s full time. Here we are, three years later, and Andrew McCutchen is leading the Pirates to a playoff berth.
It may be difficult to believe, no matter how good McCutchen may be, but McCutchen is following in Robinson’s footsteps. McCutchen isn't a leader in a huge civil rights movement but one day McCutchen could be considered one of the greatest baseball players and find himself in Coopers Town. It will be easy to disregard this post because McCutchen is so young and no one knows what is on the horizon but the following facts cannot be disregarded. Look at the first three seasons for both Robinson and McCutchen.
No one can deny that Robinson was an imperative figure in paving a path for equal rights. Robinson was not only a great player but endured abuse from opponents, fans and even teammates. His perseverance and talent helped changed the mindset of many people and the U.S. McCutchen is not paving the way for equality but the bottom line is that my generation may have just seen the closest thing in terms of baseball talent to Robinson in our time. Not only that but both of these great players played in Indianapolis, one for us and one against us – and that is pretty cool!
The Marris Minute