Last night it was an honor to speak with two former members of the old Negro Leagues: Ray Knox, who played with the Chicago American Giants from 1950 to 1951 and Hank Presswood, who played with the Cleveland Buckeyes from 1948 to 1950 and the Kansas City Monarchs from 1950 to 1952. Along with writer, Jonathan Eig, they were on the show to discuss the anniversary of Jackie Robinson entering the major leagues–an event underscored by the new movie about Robinson called “42.”
These former baseball players were so gracious and spoke in such a heartfelt way about their regard for Robinson and their continuing love of the game. And sitting so close to them, I could almost read the lessons of history in their faces. We showed a picture of Presswood sitting in the dugout when he played for the Cleveland team and he looks so young in the picture, it almost hurts.
It occurred to me even as I spoke to them on-the-air that talking to them was like pulling a book off the shelf — one you’d read and thought you’d understood but realizing anew the beauty of the lessons it holds.