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John U. Bacon writes a short introduction to the attached video highlighted in this month's Michigan Today profiling civil rights pioneer Branch Rickey and his relationship with the immortal Jackie Robinson. Rickey was a 1911 graduate of Michigan Law School.
Like so many great Wolverines, he was born in Ohio but shook it off. Interesting that Charles Thomas, a black player on Rickey's Ohio Wesleyan team (at that point Rickey was Wesleyan's coach) was a catalyst for Rickey's focus on discrimination in baseball. The incident in particular - a not unusual story of a hotel refusing to lodge a person of color - took place in South Bend, but sadly could have occurred virtually anywhere in the U.S. at that time.
This is well worth 25 minutes of your time, and as "42" hits the theaters, remember that Branch Rickey was a law school alumnus and a model representative of UofM in many ways.
There is also a related story by Bacon regarding the impact Rickey had on Fred Wilpon (Mets owner, Michigan man, and namesake of the baseball-softball complex) that's worth a look. LINK. Money quote? Money quote:
He practically invented Ladies' Day—which integrated an almost entirely male domain—spring training, and baseball's minor league system. Former St. Louis Cardinal great Stan Musial said, "An all-star team of our top farm clubs probably could have finished third behind the Cardinals and Dodgers. This was Branch Rickey's masterpiece."
LS&A Magazine has a nice slideshow up showing how game-day fashion has evolved over the years. (Or devolved - you kids get off my lawn!) Link is here: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/lsa/archives/ci.footballhautecouture_ci.detail .
It's entirely unrealistic on many levels, but I'd love it if we could organize a "throwback fan uniform" day. I understand raccoons are 100% against this idea, BTW.
A sample shot from the 1930 homecoming game against Illinois. That blanket is the bee's knees, I tell ya.
...and it blows up the social medias.
A photo taken by former
Giants[Ed-C: MICHIGAN] linebacker Dhani Jones made waves through twitter and was retweeted and posted by thousands of users. He was on a plane above Queens, NY as he was landing at LaGuardia airport when he took the photo from 10,000 feet. On instagram, he wrote "#stormcoming #nyc #isolated I've never seen a storm so concentrated. The power of mother nature!"
Today I received in the mail a beautiful fresh copy of HTTV. Tell your mailboxes to buckle up.
John U. Bacon contributed a great story to the Detroit News regarding Michigan legend Bob Chappuis. Very much a human interest piece, but Chappuis was a very interesting human. Article is here: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120629/OPINION03/206290302/Bob-Chappuis-One-U-M-s-great-ones-from-Greatest-Generation?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|Sports|p .
Among the tidbits is the fact that Chappuis's father told Chappuis that he could go to any college he wanted - other than Ohio State. A lot of the article focuses on Chappuis's service in WWII, including a story of him being shot down behind enemy lines in Italy:
he and two crewmates hid in a ditch behind some bushes while Italian soldiers marched by. One of his crewmates pulled out his knife, and motioned for them to attack. Chappuis grabbed his shoulder, pushed him down and whispered, "They've got us outnumbered 10-to-1, and they've got guns. I think you've seen too many Hollywood movies. We are staying put."
I strongly recommend the entire article. A great read for the long slow summer.
This month's Michigan Today links to a terrific Jon Falk video. About five minutes of Mr. Falk's reminiscing about lessons learned from Bo and what the University of Michigan means to him. He also offers some insight as to why Brady Hoke generally avoided wearing red throughout much of his career - on Falk's first day of work he walked in wearing a red coat from Miami and was tossed from Bo's office. Later Bo explained "I don't talk to anyone in a red coat".
Mr. Falk is a beloved figure around the program, and this video underscores why that is: http://vimeo.com/39387884 .