I am not a huge sports fan. At best I watch major playoff games. I attend one live sporting event a year. (OK, it’s not a quota or a restriction, it happens to be how it plays out for me.)
I don’t know about you, but I am not impressed with most of the headlines and stories about our professional athletes. Hopefully the upcoming summer Olympics will change all that. But right now, it’s rap songs gone bad and tattoos and pictures from parties that should have been kept private. Nice branding!
What a relief to come across the story of a soon to be 103 year old being drafted by the New York Yankees. And isn’t it wonderful that an 87 year old is being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers. Now the Angels are drafting a youngster of 78.
You might think that I am happy because I am counting on these players to bring some maturity and dignity to the playing field. To model the behavior we wish to see in our professional athletes. Sure, that would be nice. But there is a different angle here.
All of these players are being drafted NOW, because they could not have been drafted years ago. See, they are all from the Negro Leagues. From 1890 until 1947 when Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, there were no black players in major league baseball.
Now back to 2008. Dave Winfield, a 23 year veteran of major league baseball and a National Hall of Baseball Hall of Fame inductee recognized the need to honor some of the people who helped build the baseball tradition and who paved the way for Jackie Robinson and others.
What a great use of influence, prestige and professional brand.