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You Let Me Love Baseball Again

11 Apr

42-movie-posterThe new film 42 is going to do a great public service for a new generation of baseball fans who may be familiar with the name Jackie Robinson, but who don’t know much about him.

It’s a rousing movie that casts Robinson in the role of noble baseball player — a man who earned admiration not just because he broke the sport’s color barrier, but because he was a terrific athlete on the field and, just as important, a class act off it.

Which is not to say it’s the best baseball movie ever. It’s not even one truly worthy of the man himself. Predictably, with its reverential tone, majestic music cues, and sometimes cheesy dialogue, 42 is a rather conventional biopic. It tells the story of this all-American hero, putting a fine point on his accomplishments, and hammering home the point that those who objected to the integration of baseball were on the wrong side of history.

For a more rigid critic, the manipulative sincerity of the film might be a turnoff. But not me. 42 isn’t a walk-off home run, but I still scored it a solid run-scoring double. Continue reading