Crawford Hall, Ehinger Center, Drew University

Photo courtesy of National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, NY
Photo courtesy of National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Cooperstown, NY

Friday, April 12, 2013

In 1947, Jackie Robinson famously broke the color barrier when he became the first African American in the modern era to play Major League Baseball. But few people know that Robinson’s efforts to challenge racism and prejudice at that pivotal time in our nation’s history extended far beyond the baseball field and after his playing career. In fact, Robinson hosted an episode of a television show on the subject of faith, race and business ethics.

In 2009, a rare copy of that show surfaced at Drew University in the collections of the United Methodist Archives and History Center. As a part of the annual Arts of Respect Festival, and in keeping with Drew’s proud tradition of standing against racism, the Methodist Archives, Drew Athletics and the Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict hosted a program called The Sports of Respect: Race, Faith and Baseball. The program included several presenters who discussed race and faith in America as seen through the lens of our National Pastime.

The Lineup:

10 a.m. Welcome and Introductions

Dr. Vivian Bull,
President, Drew University

Leading off
Dr. Jonathan Golden
Associate Director, Center on Religion, Culture and Conflict
Drew University

10:15 a.m. “Hello, I’m Jackie Robinson, your host on Talk Back: Discovering a Baseball Icon in a Church Archive”

Dr. Christopher J. Anderson
Methodist Librarian and Coordinator of Special Collections
Drew University

11 a.m. Yogi Berra: The Man, the Myth, the American Dream

Mr. David Kaplan
Director, Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center
Montclair State University

Noon Lunch on Your Own @ Ehinger Center Café or Commons Cafeteria

1 p.m. “Diamond Shadows: The Lost History of African American Baseball”

Mr. James Gates
Library Director, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Cooperstown, NY

2 p.m. “Baseball as a Road to God”

Dr. John Sexton
President, New York University
Author of Baseball as a Road to God (Gotham Books, 2013)

Book available for purchase with book-signing by Dr. Sexton