The movie “42” is now available to rent or buy. Every person who ever played — or dreams of playing — baseball should see this film. My hat’s off to writer/director Brian Helgeland.

“42” chronicles Jackie Robinson’s entrée into major league baseball in 1955. I had a Brooklyn Dodgers-worshipping aunt who took me to see him play. I was 9, and blind to witnessing history unfold.

Helgeland’s script highlights the courage and conviction of Branch Rickey, the incomparable owner of the Dodgers, who once quipped, “Problems are the price you pay for progress.” Love that. Rickey, portrayed by Harrison Ford, had the unimaginable gall to bring a black man up to play in the majors. One can only imagine the backlash he endured from the high and mighty owners of the day.

I’ve long been a fan of those who courageously stand up — most often alone — to adversity, wrongdoing or sexism/racism/homophobia to boldly say, “This is wrong!” or “This is unacceptable!” (A nod to Pope Francis here.)

Apparently the movie did not get great reviews. Harrison aside, it had no “bankable” stars. Johnny Depp was busy applying Tonto makeup. Bruce Willis was preoccupied blowing something up.

To quote Yogi Berra, seeing “42” recently was “like déja vu all over again.” A historically important and satisfying movie experience in that I learned something: 42 is the only number ever retired from major league baseball. But even more importantly — I felt something.

Don’t miss this one.

Buddy Doyle


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