EXTRA POINT SPORTS SHOW
The inaugural Extra Point Sports Show with Tom Chang and Greg Lindberg began asking if the NFL Combine did anything to settle the Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston debate for no. 1 pick.
As the 2015 NFL Draft looms, the crew went in depth about Winstons off-the-field issues to whether or not Mariota can run an NFL offense outside the spread.
Next topic was if new Tampa Bay Rays manager, Kevin Cash, can help generate interest in the team in the way his predecessor, Joe Maddon couldnt.
Lastly, Liz McCoy, curator of the Tampa Baseball Museum discussed how Jackie Robinson and breaking the color barrier shaped the culture of Major League Baseball and the world locally to internationally.
What is the significance of when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball and its implications?
“Clearly, when an entire race or ethnicity is barred from a sport and suddenly allowed to play the sport…that population of people didn’t love baseball any less than the White people who were allowed to play in Major League Baseball and they weren’t any less talented. Some of the people who played in the Negro Leagues before they were allowed to play in the Major Leagues are some of the best players to ever play the game. (We have) Satchel Page, Jackie Robinson…these guys were unbelievable athletes and are looked at now in retrospect as some of the best people to ever play baseball. They were equally passionate about baseball as people who were allowed to play in Major League Baseball. So you had this whole community of people who really wanted to play who were suddenly allowed to.”
How has the game redefined itself over the years with everything having more of an ebb-and-flow to it?
“It’s certainly more popular on a worldwide scale than it was when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. It wasn’t being played in Asia from what I was aware of at the time and now it’s huge in Asia. Baseball is sort of an international affair now whereas in that time, it was an American and to some extent, a Cuban/South American affair. That was all who was playing baseball at the time. It clearly expanded its horizons and people from different places and other areas are breaking into our sport. Our sport is more diverse now than it ever has with not only with players of different colors, but also players of different ethnicities all out on the field together now…growing far more diverse by the day.
Listen to the full show below
You can check out the museum at tampabaseballmuseum.org