The legacy of the iconic Jackie Robinson has been kept alive by Ron Rabinovitz. Rabinovitz and Robinson had a unique bond that segregation could not touch. Rabinovitz’ dad was a lawyer at that time and he wrote to Jackie on multiple occasions. Jackie wanted to meet Ron, so they met at a Milwaukee Braves and Dodgers game.
“I was pretty excited to meet Jackie Robinson. I mean he played for my favorite team and it was something special. After I saw him play, a bunch of kids and I went to get Jackie’s autograph. I asked him did he remember me. He replied, yes I do remember you.” My dad was standing beside him and said with a thousand letters, how you remember with a smile on his face.”
At that time, segregation was at an all-time high, but Jackie did not care. He wanted to make a statement with the change of baseball, as well as the world. “Jackie had this charisma about himself that he was not willing to give up or give in to the hateful things that were said to him and his family. He wanted change in America, as well as the MLB. He wanted more African American players and managers to be in the MLB.”
For twenty years, Robinson and Ron built a unique bond that trickled down to fighting injustice. “I wanted America to change its views on things. Even after Jackie had passed away, there was so much work to do. I know he would have loved to see President Obama. Who would have thought that an African-American would be president and I know Jackie would have loved to see that. However, with the newly elected president Donald Trump, I know he would have disliked it.”
Jackie was more than an iconic figure in baseball, he impacted what change was about. “It was said Babe Ruth changed baseball, but Jackie Robinson changed America.”
There were many life lessons that were taught when Jackie Robinson changed the aspects and dynamics about baseball. “You could say that it is not about race, but the character of the person. Jackie, as well as his family, endured a lot of racism, but they kept it together. Jackie, as well as my family, did not care that he was African American. He was just a great guy that loved what he did. He loved everything about life and I am so happy that I had the opportunity to know such a guy”
Ron has kept Jackie’s legacy alive by making a change in the community as well as inspiring change. He still keeps in touch with Jackie’s wife Rachel, who’s now 94. “I did not want Jackie’s legacy to disappear. He was much more than just baseball. He gave hope to people about change and that is something that I am still fighting for.”