(By Chris, Editor in Chief of MyBriefs.com and the adult writer of the Gab Four. Originally published April 12, 2007, sponsored by 3 Spoons Yogurt)
Is it okay to divulge that I once, inadvertently and unknowingly, participated in a one-man minstrel show?
I am not Tiger Woods, I did not want to be like Mike and I had no intentions of applying Gene Wilder's shoe polish in "Silver Streak." Rather, when I was in high school, I ordered a vintage-style Brooklyn Dodgers baseball hat and jersey from a baseball catalogue, in the hope of having people confuse me for Jackie Robinson.
I'm not sure when I first caught wind of who Robinson was, what the significance of what he did was, what a Dodger was or why being a dodger was bad for Bill Clinton but good for Mike Piazza; but having been born seven years after Robinson died, it is my opinion (and I am unanimous in that) that Robinson was my favorite sports person ever.
Although I used to hoard Starting Lineup figures in such a fashion that it would cause a Y2K fanatic to look askance at me, Robinson is the only athlete who I purchased one of the larger, 12" Starting Lineup dolls of. Pursuant to purchasing a doll (I just said "pursuant"), I began referring to the figures as Extra Large Starting Lineups (XLSLUs).
Anyway, the XLSLUs made a unique centerpiece amidst the other two, normal size figures I have of Robinson, three Wheaties boxes, 11x14 sepia picture of Robinson and miniature Ebbets Field musical tin.
Interesting Fact No. 1: Robinson had an older brother, Mack. Though Mack never played Major League Baseball, the two, normal-size Starting Lineup figures of Robinson could have easily been brothers.
Interesting Fact No. 2: It was never divulged if Dr. Seuss' Thing 1 and Thing 2 were brothers or not.
Interesting Fact No. 3: Ozzie Canseco has back hair.
For my reading or viewing pleasure, I own the hardcover, coffee table book, "Jackie Robinson: An Intimate Portrait" (that I ordered after eating three boxes of Wheaties, though not all in one sitting) and the movie "The Jackie Robinson Story." This is how I jubilate each April 15.
I periodically considered purchasing a cake at Baskin-Robbins, having it decorated to say "Happy Jackie Robinson Day, Christopher!" and having it delivered to myself, but I considered this a bit too extreme.
Although reading and finishing said Robinson book would encompass a bathroom break that would promote unparalleled excitement among toilet paper manufacturers, neither the book, nor the film, nor any other piece of media can fully epitomize what Robinson meant to this country.
So it's certainly alright to try and emulate Robinson; or in my case, even dress like him. Though if I wore the same jersey I modeled in high school, people would be more likely to confuse me with Edward G. Robinson. That would be known as a G Thing.
Chris is a Waco, Texas, resident, Editor in Chief of MyBriefs.com, author of the book "Sports Briefs" and the adult writer for the Gab Four. Read more of Chris' solo columns here.