08/18/12 10:08 PM ET
As baseball celebrates past, future in focus
Wild Card contenders face off in Atlanta with Civil Rights Game as backdrop
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
Selig is also proud of the Civil Rights Game itself, which has finished up a two-year engagement in Atlanta and could head elsewhere in 2013. The Commissioner said there is no shortage of clubs lining up to play host, though a decision has not yet been made. "Everybody wants it," Selig said. "When we started out, we used to have to go to cities and clubs and say, 'Why don't you take this?'" The game highlights baseball's role as a foreshadower to the Civil Rights Movement, beginning with Jackie Robinson's breaking of the color barrier. "I've often said that Jackie Robinson's coming to the big leagues, April 15, 1947, was the most important and powerful moment in baseball history," Selig said. "And there's no doubt in my mind that's true. I think of all the things that have happened since then, so baseball has this really remarkable history. Because, after all, Branch Rickey brought him to the big leagues 3 1/2 years before Harry Truman desegregated the United States Army, seven years before Brown vs. Board of Education and 18 years before the Civil Rights Movement. So what a powerful moment it was and it did help to change America." That change was celebrated once again Saturday. And the fact that the celebration coincided with a game that helps highlight the changed playoff picture was an added bonus.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, CastroTurf, and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.