Author Ed Henry talked with the “Pat & Stu” crew about his new book, “42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story.”
Not many people know that faith was an important part of baseball legend Jackie Robinson’s life. Henry wanted to tell stories that hadn’t been heard before about both Robinson and Branch Rickey, the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers who famously broke Major League Baseball's color barrier by signing him.
While the narrative has long been that Rickey always knew integrating baseball was the right thing to do, the true story is more complicated than that, according to Henry. In the book he revealed how Rickey leaned on his faith during the fight to break baseball’s color barrier.
Henry also talked about the cowardice of some of Robinson's teammates, who signed a petition to keep him out of the Major League, and the bravery of teammate Ralph Branca. When it was announced Jackie would play his first big league game with the Dodgers, threats were made that he would be gunned down on the field.
Branca, who was very tall, stood right next to his teammate when the players were announced. Henry paraphrased Branca's explanation to family, saying "There are worse ways to go than to get shot standing next to a teammate, standing next to one of your brothers."
The author also described two big problems with our culture: “not enough talk about our faith,” and an overabundance of trophies. Robinson had the odds stacked against him, but he persevered through hard work.
“This was a guy who didn’t get handed trophies,” Henry pointed out.