Cincinnati by
(306 Stories)

Prompted By Prejudice

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Jackie Robinson was subject to unimaginable prejudice.  Teams would bring up their Southern minor leaguers to taunt and insult him.

One day during a game in Cincy,  a border town to the former slave state of Kentucky,  Robinson’s Dodger teammate,  Louisville native Pee Wee Reese walked over to first base and put his arm around Jackie.

Quite a gesture for a Southern gentleman,  and that day the haters shut up.

The writer with unnamed Retro admin.

– Danny L,  guest writer

Profile photo of Dana Susan Lehrman Dana Susan Lehrman
This retired librarian loves big city bustle and cozy country weekends, friends and family, good books and theatre, movies and jazz, travel, tennis, Yankee baseball, and writing about life as she sees it on her blog World Thru Brown Eyes!

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Characterizations: moving, right on!, well written


  1. Khati Hendry says:

    Hooray for PeeWee! and of course nothing but immeasurable respect for Jackie Robinson. Thanks for the story.

  2. Your response to the prompt provided me with a more personal side to this issue than I knew. I am indeed heartened by your story.
    My similar experience is with two events: In a southern high school, some of the basketball fans threw knives into the court to proclaim their feelings about the black players.
    Based on this experience, I talked with the Chinese promoters in Beijing about the planned performance of Lost In the Stars. Due to several attacks on African students studying in China, they were concerned about the possible negative reactions. on both sides. Earlier a UCLA team walked off the court when they thought the Chinese crowd was shouting the n word.
    In fact, they were exclaiming how tall the players were. In Chinese one says neige jen nemma gao. That is standard Chinese. But in Beijing dialect, one adds an “r” sound to the word neige which means “that” is thus pronounced “neiger.”
    I was asked to consulate with the audience and performers at the volatile play of African liberation. Due to their fears, the managers canceled the performance.!

  3. And a nice scene from the latest movie ’42’.

  4. Your photo is a nice replay of the famed embrace by PeeWee and Jackie. One account I read said this story was apocryphal (never really took place),. But it’s a sweet story, and obviously, you have the receipts—er, pictures.

    • Thanx Dale, I realized there has been speculation about whether the incident really happened at that Cincinnati game.

      I choose to believe it did. and in recent years speaking to baseball writer Roger Kahn, Reese said, “I was just trying to make the world a little bit better. That’s what you’re supposed to do with your life, isn’t it?”

  5. Betsy Pfau says:

    My brother lives in Cinci. The airport is in Kentucky (in fact, when his son got married two summer’s ago on a riverboat that was anchored on the Kentucky side, they actually had their ceremony earlier in the day – both officiated by my rabbi brother – but on the Ohio bank-side, so their marriage license wouldn’t be from KY).

    Jackie Robinson was a man of tremendous fortitude and grace. I am glad his number has been retired by ALL the ball clubs in his honor. Whether that gesture actually took place or not, it DOES make a grand story and tells that little moments can have huge impact.

    And I love the photo of you and your baseball-loving Danny!

    • Thanx Betsy for your nephew’s wedding tale! And yes small gestures like Pee Wee’s can make an impact – and I choose to believe it did happen!

      And as you can probably guess the photo was taken years ago on the Martha’s Vineyard ferry!

  6. Laurie Levy says:

    We definitely need more gestures like this today.

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