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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Sept. 25, 2013/ 21 Tishrei, 5774

A whole different ball game

By Paul Greenberg




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It was the national pastime that didn't include all the nation. Black ballplayers, whether they were stars or run-of-the-mill, weren't allowed in the major leagues back then -- or many minor ones for that matter. They were consigned to their own leagues, separate but unequal. Which was the case with a good many other American institutions at the time.

Some white fans might have heard the name Josh Gibson -- some might even have seen him play if they could make their way into a game in the "Negro Leagues." But in general it was as if black ballplayers played in an alternate universe. Yet no one seemed to notice what was missing from this picture, except of course the missing, who were given one more grievance to nurse.

Yes, there were a few fair-minded, forward-looking types like Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the irrepressible Happy Chandler, who would become baseball's national commissioner and conscience in 1945, just as the Second World War was grinding down.

Happy Chandler would later say his conscience wouldn't let him tell black players they couldn't play in the majors after they'd fought for their country. But he knew better than to say such things out loud when he was baseball commissioner, or it would have cost him his job. Which it did when he began to speak up. After the club owners voted 15-to-Branch Rickey against integrating the majors, Chandler was not elected to a second term.

Happy Chandler was a one-man example of the conflicted, schizophrenic and just plain strange South I knew as a boy -- and thought perfectly natural. Albert Benjamin Chandler (though nobody ever called him anything but Happy) had been a reform governor of Kentucky, then a popular senator from that state before he took the commissioner's job, performing admirably in all those roles.

Especially as baseball commissioner. The players' friend, he got them a better pension plan and proposed a minimum salary for major-leaguers (all of $5,000 a year!) and faced down loudmouthed Leo Durocher, the rudest man in baseball, suspending him for a year for "an accumulation of unpleasant incidents ... detrimental to baseball." The owners didn't like his doing that, either; Durocher was a big draw.

Leo the Lip, who was famous for declaring that "nice guys finish last," never changed. He would be just as offensive 20 years later when he was managing the Cubs and I was writing editorials critical of him for the old Chicago Daily News. He managed the Cubbies straight into the cellar that year -- to my intense satisfaction, proving that not just nice guys finish last. But he stayed great copy. I have to give him that.



Happy Chandler would go on to back the Dixiecrats in 1948, but he called out the National Guard in 1956 to enforce racial integration and the law of the land in Kentucky, leaving it to Orval Faubus to foist a Little Rock Crisis on Arkansas a year later. But by 1968 he was angling for the vice-presidential nomination on George Wallace's ticket that year. Try to make sense of that political pattern. I can't.

The simplest explanation I can come up with is that racism drives even the best of us nuts. I know. Some of my best friends were -- and probably still are -- segs. (I've never believed in letting politics interfere with friendship. It's uncivilized, and solves nothing. It's also just plain un-Southern.)

That whole strange time came back to me when I took in the exhibit on black baseball now on through December 1 at the Mosaic Templars museum in Little Rock. Don't miss it if you're a baseball fan, or even if you're not. The style of the paintings, supplied courtesy of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, is a striking mix of Norman Rockwell, Second World War posters, 1940s pop art, and glossy magazine illustrations that could have come out of Collier's or the Saturday Evening Post. But they're all pure Americana. Like a high fast one coming out of the shadows late on a long-ago afternoon in some ballpark now torn down -- like Ray Winder Field in Little Rock, once home to the Arkansas Travelers of the Texas League, who now have moved across the river to a fashionable little retro jewel box of a ballfield in North Little Rock.

There's no doubt about my favorite painting in this show -- for very personal reasons. It's Willie Foster & Young Fans by Kadir Nelson. It depicts a bunch of little black kids holding huge Willie Foster's uniform, glove and cleats, doubtless hoping their services will get them into the game free.

The backdrop is Wright Avenue in Pittsburgh's black business district circa 1933, but it could be Texas Avenue in Shreveport around the same time, when we lived above my father's shoe repair shop. I would have been about the same age as those urchins in the picture, and just as baseball-crazy. Sure enough, there's a shoe shop in the painting. Perfect.

As an Extra Added Bonus, as it used to say on the back of the cereal boxes (Wheaties and Post Toasties), the visitor to the museum gets a brief history of racial segregation and integration in minor-league ball here in Arkansas. The two were as entwined as everything else in the South.

This exhibit has been lovingly assembled, you can tell, by a fan of baseball and America, which can be synonymous. Did you know the Hot Springs Bathers were thrown out of the old Cotton States League for daring to insert a couple of black players -- the Tugerson brothers -- into their line-up in 1953? The Bathers forfeited the game for their trouble.

The paintings, striking and charming and wonderfully out-of-date, take you back. To a place you don't ever want to go again. But, strangely enough, want to visit. Southerners will grow nostalgic for near about anything. Maybe because we remember the people -- black, white and other -- as real, and the racial stupidities, cruelties and just plain absurdities as abstractions superimposed on what mattered most. And in the South, what mattered most and still does is the personal. May it always be so.

Paul Greenberg Archives

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JWR contributor Paul Greenberg, editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, has won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. Send your comments by clicking here.

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