This past Friday saw the celebration of Jackie Robinson Day at a new date for 2020, and as the players took to the field sporting their matching 42 jerseys, the entertainment industry lost a great man.
Chadwick Boseman, who was probably best known for his role in the astronomically popular Black Panther adaptation, found his breakout role in 2013 playing Jackie Robinson in the film 42. On Friday, the day MLB celebrated the man who broke the color barrier in baseball, Boseman passed away at age 43 from colon cancer.
The news was a crushing blow for many, as Boseman had not disclosed this condition to many outside his close circle, and filmed many of his biggest roles while he fought the cancer that would ultimately claim his life.
While Boseman was not a professional athlete, he played a part in bringing the story of Jackie Robinson to the big screen, and more importantly — much like Robinson — he was an almost mythological figure in popular culture, showing generations of young Black audience members that they could see a Black superhero on the big screen, much like Jackie showed them they could see a Black man in the big leagues.
He will be missed.
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It is with immeasurable grief that we confirm the passing of Chadwick Boseman. Chadwick was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016, and battled with it these last 4 years as it progressed to stage IV. A true fighter, Chadwick persevered through it all, and brought you many of the films you have come to love so much. From Marshall to Da 5 Bloods, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and several more, all were filmed during and between countless surgeries and chemotherapy. It was the honor of his career to bring King T’Challa to life in Black Panther. He died in his home, with his wife and family by his side. The family thanks you for your love and prayers, and asks that you continue to respect their privacy during this difficult time. Photo Credit: @samjonespictures
Today is also, of course, the trade deadline, and while the weekend had no shortage of action, I suspect we’ll see much more over the coming hours.
- If you read only one piece from this entire post, let it be the wonderful letter Shakeia Taylor wrote to Jackie Robinson for his day on Friday.
- Jeff Passan thought MLB’s first social justice foray was a bit of a mess, but appreciated in nevertheless.
- Doug Glanville looks at the things MLB can be doing right now to fight against systemic racism.
- Fabian Ardaya spotlights the stark lack of diversity in baseball’s broadcast booths. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- How hard would it be to get traded to a new team in the middle of a pandemic? Stephanie Apstein looks at the special challenges of the 2020 trade deadline.
- Rachael McDaniel is taking a look at the real history behind baseball’s unwritten rules.
- Some teams are just better at keeping the hype levels up even with the stands empty, and Buster Olney takes a look at which teams are keeping the enthusiasm high.
- Miguel Cabrera got his 2000th hit as a Tiger this weekend [VIDEO].
- Things are not business as usual for broadcast teams, and Aaron Gleeman writes about the unusual effort of live calling a game you can’t see. (The Athletic subscription required.)
- Lance Lynn has no interest in getting traded until he can complete some unfinished business, writes Chris Halicke.
- Does your favorite team still have a shot at the playoffs? Craig Edwards has all the expanded postseason odds for you. (Don’t worry Cubs fans, I think the odds are good.)
- MLB Network brought a new toy into Sunday’s Mariners-Angels broadcast, writes Maury Brown.
- The unsung heroes of this insane and ever-changing season might just be the team travel directors. Story by Emma Baccellieri.
- Tonya Malinkowski has a wonderful spotlight on organist Nancy Faust and how she pioneered the sound of baseball music as we know it.
- The White Sox are a lot of fun this year.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster. Make it so.