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A BASN Exclusive Interview With Sharon Robinson
HOUSTON – Just two weekends ago, MLB teams across America celebrated the 60th anniversary commemorating the legendary Jackie Robinson.
Robinson, noted for being the first black to break the major league baseball color barrier was honored throughout the country in various celebrations.
Some current black baseball players such as Ken Griffey Jr., of the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds along with many others honored him by wearing his number 42 jersey on April 15, 2007.
Robinson’s daughter, Sharon, was in Houston recently for the celebration presented by the Houston Astros. During the day she took time out to talk with BASN one-on-one and share some of her thoughts about baseball now and in the future.
BASN: How do you feel about all of the celebrations that have been taking place across the country commemorating your father’s legacy?
Sharon Robinson: I feel that it’s great that everyone is doing something to remember what he did. People have been quite kind and the presentations have been most moving.
BASN: What was the most memorable moment for you during the main celebration in Los Angeles on the anniversary date?
SR: The gospel singing was awesome, but when the video presentation started showing different people wearing my father’s jersey stating “I am Jackie Robinson” it was very emotional.
BASN: What type of advice did you give to the baseball players at Jones High School?
SR: I told them to be the best that they can be. Stick with baseball and work hard to have options in life.
BASN: What can teams such as Jones do to help better their fields that they have to practice on and play on?
SR: Getting help from the Astros is one tool and the Baseball Tommorow Fund to receive grant money to develop the fields.
BASN: What was your sole purpose of coming to Houston?
SR: I came here on behalf of Marion Harper of the Houston Astros. It was her invitation that brought me here today.
BASN: Where do you feel the impact of blacks in baseball stands today?
SR: We hear so much about the decrease in interest when it comes to African Americans. We have such a rich history in baseball and we cannot lose our place in America’s game.
BASN: What do you think that it will take for things to change?
SR: We are trying to turn the numbers around. This is what it will take for things to change. It will have to be across the board to the players, coaches, staff, and front office.
BASN: Are you surprised that their are no black players on the Houston Astros team?
SR: Yes, I asked that question all the time. We want to challenge the Astros and other teams to make a difference in numbers of blacks today.
BASN: What are some of the other things that you’ve done outside of baseball?
SR: I have written about six books for children between ages 8-14.
BASN: One final question. What one thing would you like to leave our readers with?
SR: I would like for everyone to know that I came to Houston because I care. I’ve always wondered why the Astros don’t have more blacks in the front office as well as players on the field. These things have to change. African Americans played an important role in this sport and that can’t be forgotten.