Why? Why? Why? What is it about us that we had to be treated as subhuman beings? What did we do to be treated like we were treated? Were they afraid of us? Maybe so, because the Robinsons and the Dobys and the Campanellas and the Newcombes and then the great players who came after usthe Mayses and the Gibsons and the Aaronswe set all kinds of records. I'm the only player in baseball history to have won the Rookie of the Year award, the Most Valuable Player award, and the Cy Young Award. Nobody else in baseball historyblack, white, brown, tan, yellow, or whateverhas won those three awards in his career. Was the white man afraid of that, afraid of what we would do to baseball?
Baseball had a famous commissioner named Kenesaw Mountain Landis back when I was growing up. And Kenesaw Mountain Landis once said, "As long as I'm the commissioner of baseball ..."and here Landis used the n-word"will never play in the major leagues." Thank God, he died in 1944. I didn't know who he was, didn't know where he came from, didn't know a thing about him. But I was glad when I read the bastard had died. If Kenesaw Mountain Landis had lived another 20 years, you never would have seen me or Jackie in baseball. I could go to the Army, go to war, fight and die for my country like some of my friends did. This country would take my taxes. But I couldn't play the all-American pastime.
Do you know what Jackie's impact was? Well, let Martin Luther King tell you. In 1968, Martin had dinner in my house with my family. This was 28 days before he was assassinated. He said to me, "Don, I don't know what I would've done without you guys setting up the minds of people for change. You, Jackie, and Roy will never know how easy you made it for me to do my job." Can you imagine that? How easy we made it for Martin Luther King!
Next Dick Allen