I recently went with my wife to watch the movie, "42." I believe that it may be my top baseball movie of all time. I had done some research on Jackie Robinson in the past, but the movie did a great job of bringing the story to life. The best part of the night was actually not part of the movie at all. There was an elderly black man in the theatre, the only other person in there except for my wife and I, and he had trouble containing himself.
It was obviously the first time that this man had seen the film, and he was openly cheering and sometimes weeping, but in the end, he walked out of that movie theatre a little taller than when he walked in. You could tell that he personally could identify with the struggles that Jackie went through, and you could also tell that we were watching a movie about his hero.
As he left the building, he went out of his way to ask me what I thought of the movie and I told him that it was one of the best I have ever seen. He just kept walking with a huge smile on his face, and said..."I agree son." Amazing what the game of baseball has done and can continue to do in peoples lives. Jackie Robinson was more than a pioneer, and courageous athlete, he was the hope for countless people who believed in a better way.
I imagine that Jackie knew that it was pretty important for him to do what he did, but I doubt that he could realize just how monumental of a difference he made in our world. Now, you and I will most likely never change the world like number 42 did, but we can't cut ourselves short, in regards to the impact that we can make to the young eyes that are looking up to us everyday. Our own kids, the kids that we teach and coach, are looking for someone to stand up for what is right, and to make a difference in their lives. That is what a modern day hero does, and it all starts with having enough courage to do things differently.