Willie Mays: Jackie Robinson

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Willie Mays. What comes to mind when you hear that name? Some people think of a man who is considered the second best baseball player of all time, behind some orphan from Baltimore named Babe Ruth. Some people think of one of the men responsible for the domination of New York teams in the 1950’s, where every World Series had at least one New York team every year except 1959. Most people know him for “the catch,” an over the shoulder grab he made in the 1954 World Series that is synonymous with October Baseball. But what most people do not know about this man was that he had so much more courage than the average man. He was an outstanding black ballplayer in a league of baseball dominated by white’s. While Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier …show more content…
People felt it was their duty to bring him down. Not just the fans that shouted racial slurs at him, but also opposing players that would throw as his head and spike him when he was sliding into a bag. Even umpires would call him out when he would beat out a throw by ten feet, just to try and show him that the white people were still the ones that owned the Major Leagues. Willie knew that whatever he did, there was no way that everyone would welcome him with open arms, and that there would still be violence against him because of what he represented, a change of tradition in the national pastime. Atticus Finch did this too. When he accepted the Tom Robinson Rape case, he knew that would lose, he knew that even if he had proven Tom Robinson innocent, that he would still have been found guilty because of tradition and tainted states of mind. When Atticus was talking to his son Jem about the trial, he told him: “...courage is...when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.” (Lee 149) What Atticus is saying is that courage is whenever you’re in a fight you can’t win but keep fighting back. Courage is when you know you’ll lose before you start, but you put in 110% anyway. He is also saying that courage is when you’re willing to take the risk even though you know you’re going to lose because it’s the right thing to do. That is how …show more content…
A word that has many meanings and is shown in many different ways. Willie Mays showed courage by taking the field and proving that he could play the game the right way, and that whatever people thought about him didn’t matter. Atticus Finch showed courage the same way, by “taking the field” against the long standing tradition of Maycomb, which was that if a black man was accused of something wrong against a white woman, he was guilty no matter if it could be proven he was innocent. Atticus defended and proved this black man innocent, whether the verdict was innocent or guilty is a different story. Tom Robinson showed courage by fighting the long standing unwritten code that a black man was not to feel guilty or sorry for a white woman. He took that stand and spoke the truth to an entire courtroom, but his testimony fell on deaf ears, and he was found guilty because of long standing wrong states of mind. Arthur “Boo” Radley saw that Jem and Scout were being attacked by a knife wielding maniac drunk man. He disregarded his own safety and other people’s thoughts about him and saved the kids. A quote in To Kill A Mockingbird says that “courage is knowing when you’re licked before you begin.” (Lee 149) But I’d like to add something to that that’ll encompass much more than that, and I’ll put it in baseball terminology to include Willie Mays. Courage is going into the bottom of the ninth down by five but still trying to clobber one outta the park. Courage is knowing that

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