No. 42 in Cowtown

Posted Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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In Gil LeBreton's April 16 column, "Jackie Robinson's 42 touches all the right bases," he wrote that he was not old enough to have seen Jackie Robinson play.

Well, I'm afraid I am.

The Fort Worth Cats were a farm team of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and in 1948 the Dodgers played an exhibition game at LaGrave Field against the Cats. Robinson was at first base. What many people may not know is that in his first season with the Dodgers, Robinson played first base and not second.

LaGrave Field was a small minor-league park, and you could hear what the fans were yelling to the players. I did not hear one racial comment at all. In fact, there was so much more cheering for Robinson than for his teammates that you could tell he was embarrassed by it.

During the years since, I have been surprised by all the writings about prejudice toward Robinson. I believe that the vast majority of the major-league players were pulling for him to succeed, as were the fans at LaGrave Field.

-- John Byrne, Arlington

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