A Legend's Lost Legacy

While 42 hails Jackie, blacks are giving up baseball

WARNER BROS

Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson in 42, which chronicles the pioneering Dodger's first year in the majors.

Midway through 42, the affecting new Jackie Robinson biopic (out April 12), a group of white sportswriters are perched in the press box to cover the third game of Robinson's major league career. It's April 18, 1947. "Mark my words and circle this date," says one reporter. "Negroes are going to run the white man straight out of baseball."

It didn't turn out that way. Often superficial but always well acted (as Robinson, star Chadwick Boseman delivers a breakout performance), 42 recounts how Robinson, with the aid of Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford), broke baseball's color barrier. But...

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