Last updated: July 25. 2013 9:16AM - 417 Views
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Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

The movie “42” is being released on DVD and Blue Ray on July 16.

The movie tells the story of Scioto County native Branch Rickey as he drafts Jackie Robinson to be the first black player to the join Major League Baseball in 1947.

The film stars Academy Award nominee Harrison Ford (“Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones,” “Air Force One,”) as Branch Rickey, and Chadwick Boseman (“The Express”) as Robinson. Also starring are Nicole Beharie (“Shame”) Christopher Meloni (“Man of Steel”) and T.R. Knight (TV’s “Grey’s Anatomy”).

Born in Scioto County in 1881, Wesley Branch Rickey was a school teacher, a college and professional baseball and football player, coach, lawyer and a soldier. He received three college degrees from Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio, and began his career by joining the St. Louis Browns as secretary in 1912. He became president of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1917, and saw the team to six pennants and four World Series titles. During this time, he organized the baseball farm system.

In 1942, he moved to Brooklyn as president of the Dodgers. It was there that Rickey made arguably his greatest contribution to professional sports and civil rights movement by signing African-American baseball player Jackie Robinson to play for the Dodgers in 1947. That moment is the inspiration behind this movie by Legendary Pictures.

Robinson was the 1947 Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year, 1948 National League Most Valuable Player, six-time All-Star, and played for the Dodgers until 1956. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

Rickey left the Dodgers in 1950 to become vice president of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and he was elected chairman of the board at Pittsburgh in 1955. Four years later he was tapped to be president of the Continental Baseball League, which never materialized. He retired in 1960 to write a book, and returned to the Cardinals as a consultant in 1962.

Rickey died in 1965 and is buried in Rushtown Cemetery in Scioto County.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or tallen@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.

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