Struggling to break the color barrier in the Professional Golfers Association five decades ago, Charlie Sifford got a tip from Jackie Robinson, who had done the same thing for Major League Baseball. "You can’t be going after these people who call you names with a golf club,” Robinson told him. “If you do that, you’ll ruin it for all of the black players to come.”
The game he loves has honored the man many say is its finest chronicler. On July 26, the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., presented the J.G. Taylor Spink Award to Roger Angell, for 50 years of writing about the national pastime. In The New Yorker magazine and in a number of books, Angell shared his passion for a sport he calls " the hardest game to play."
As a left fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians in the 1940s and 1950s, Ralph Kiner was one of baseball's greatest power hitters. Kiner, who died on Feb. 6 at age 91 in Rancho Mirage, Calif., led the National League in home runs seven straight times, and once clouted 54 of them in a season, more than even Willie Mays or Hank Aaron ever did.
When defensive end David "Deacon" Jones, who died on June 3 at age 74 in Southern California, joined the Los Angeles Rams in 1961 as an obscure 14th-round pick out of Mississippi Valley State, it was the derring-do of quarterbacks, running backs and receivers that put fans in the seats and kept them glued to the TV set. Jones helped to change that by making defense just as exciting.
Search AARP Blogs