Beginning in the 1930s, black sportswriters, notably Wendell Smith and Sam Lacy, made baseball part of a larger crusade to confront Jim Crow laws. Their columns galvanized support among their readers, and their interviews with white major leaguers demonstrated that many players had no objections to playing with blacks.
It is clear that over his long and rocky tenure as Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig left a massive legacy. The business and sport of major league baseball was impacted for good and for ill by the man who began his professional life selling used cars in Milwaukee. He will end his tenure as Commissioner by becoming the "Six Million Dollar Man."
Ferguson is a little over a three and half-hours drive from Kansas City, where Jackie Robinson began his baseball career; he started in the Negro Leagues as a member of the Kansas City Monarchs. October 24, 2014 marks the 42nd anniversary of Robinson's death -- significant because that is the number that Robinson wore.
The overstatement of Jeter's intangible contributions, efforts to make him into a paragon of integrity and honor when he is essentially a great ballplayer who managed to stay out of trouble and not say anything stupid to the media in 20 years, all make it increasingly difficult to either like Jeter or take his farewell tour seriously.