42 (2013) Script

SMITH: In 1945, America's greatest generation came back from war.

MAN 1: The flags of freedom fly over Europe.

SMITH: Nazi Germany had been defeated...

...and three months later, Imperial Japan surrendered as well.

MAN 2: And there's jubilation around this earth.

SMITH: Men returned home. Among them, some of baseball's most beloved names.

Musial. DiMaggio. Williams.

Life in the United States could return to normal.

What's the guy's name? What's on second?

Who's on second? Who's on first?

I don't know. Third base.

[ALL LAUGHING]

SMITH: And baseball was proof positive that democracy was real.

A baseball box score, after all, is a democratic thing.

It doesn't say how big you are or what religion you follow.

It does not know how you voted or the color of your skin.

It simply states what kind of ballplayer you were on any particular day.

MAN 3: And he did it. It's a home run.

They knew he'd do it.

SMITH: African Americans had served their country gallantly.

They returned home from fighting to free the world from tyranny...

...only to find racism, segregation and Jim Crow law still waiting at home.

MAN 4: Segregation was the law...

...and no group was more scrupulous in its observance of custom...

...than organized baseball.

SMITH: There was a long road ahead.

If African Americans dreamed of playing baseball...

...it was not for the Yankees...

...but for teams like the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues...

...where the barnstorming style of play stood in contrast to the Majors.

In 1946, there were 16 Major League baseball teams...

...with a total of 400 players on their rosters.

Every one of the 400 players were white.

But when opening day came in 1947, that number dropped to 399...

...and one man stood apart.

[GRUNTS]

RICKEY: Gentlemen, I have a plan.

Plan's good, Mr. Rickey. You always have one.

RICKEY: My wife says I'm too old. Heh, heh.

That my health's not up to it.

My son says, uh, everybody in...

Everybody in baseball is gonna be against me. Heh.

But I'm gonna do it.

SUKEFORTH: Do what, Mr. Rickey?

I'm gonna bring a Negro ballplayer...

...to the Brooklyn Dodgers.

With all due respect, sir, have you lost your mind?

Think-- Think about--

Think about the abuse...

...that you are gonna take from the newspapers...

...let alone how this is gonna play out in Flatbush!

Please, Mr. Rickey.

Sit down, Harold.

No law against it, Clyde.

No.

No, but there's a code.

You break a law and get away with it, some people think you're smart.

You break an unwritten law...

...you'll be an outcast.

Mm-hm.

So be it.

New York's full of Negro baseball fans.

Dollars aren't black and white, they're green.

Every dollar's green.

I don't know who he is...

...or where he is...

...but he's coming.

[CROWD CHEERING]

Hey, runner!

Where'd you learn to move like that, at a dime-a-dance night?

Stand still!

MAN: There you are!

[PANTING]

UMPIRE: Ball!

[GRUNTS]

Safe!

JACKIE: Catcher!

When you gonna start throwing for real?

You talking to me?

You got a rag arm, catcher.

Steal home. You'll find out what kind of arm I got.

Okay.

I'm coming.

Where's your shortstop from?

California.

Sure got a mouth on him.

[BOTH GRUNT]

UMPIRE: Safe!

MAN [ON RADIO]: Discussions concerning Japan's offer of surrender.

Washington, London, Moscow, and Chungking...

...now framing their decision.

When this decision will be communicated to Tokyo via the government's...

Fill her up? Yes, sir.

MAN 1: You boys heading out? MAN 2: Uh, Chicago.

MAN 1: Chicago, huh? Heh.

You boys get around. Yeah, we sure do.

Hey. Hey, you, where you going? JACKIE: To the toilet.

Hell, come on, boy. You know you can't go in there.

Them Cokes are a nickel.

Take that hose out of the tank.

Robinson. What?

I said take it out.

We'll get our 99 gallons of gas someplace else.

All right, then. Go on.

Go on! Use it.

Roy Campanella.

Hell of a player. He's too sweet. They'd eat him alive.

SUKEFORTH: All right.

Oh, sorry. Oh, wait. Sorry.

Satchel Paige, then. RICKEY: He's too old.

We need a player with a future, not a past.

Here.

Jack Roosevelt Robinson.

Four-sport college man, out of UCLA. That means he's played with white boys.

Playing for the Kansas City Monarchs.

Twenty-six years old. He's batting .350. Three-fifty.

Methodist.

Commissioned Army officer.

He was court-martialed.

SUKEFORTH: He's a troublemaker.

Well, he argues with umpires.

A quick temper is his reputation.

PARROTT: Well, what was he court-martialed for?

RICKEY: Wouldn't sit in the back of a military bus. Fort Hood, Texas.

Driver asked him to, uh, move back.

[SCOFFS]

MPs had to take him off.

There, you see?

I see he resents segregation.

If he were white, we'd call that spirit.

Robinson's a Methodist.

I'm a Methodist. God's a Methodist.

We can't go wrong. Find him.

Bring him here.

SUKEFORTH: How are you, fellas? I'm looking for your, uh, shortstop.

You Jackie Robinson?

Who are you?

JACKI E: Mr. Rickey.

What's this about?

This is about baseball, Jackie.

I see you starting in spring with our affiliate in Montreal.

If you make it there...

...we'll try you down here...

...with the Dodgers.

With the white Brooklyn Dodgers.

[SCOFFS]

Hmm.

I'll pay you $600 a month.

And a $3500 bonus when you sign the contract.

That agreeable?

Yes, that's fine but-- There's one condition.

I know you can hit behind the runner. That you can read a pitch.

One question is...

...can you control your temper?

My temper?

Yes, your temper! What are you, deaf?

A black man in white baseball, heh, can you imagine the reaction?

The vitriol?

Dodgers check into a hotel, a, uh, a decent, good hotel.

You're worn out from the road.

Some clerk won't give you the pen to sign in with.

"We got no room for you, boy. Not even down in the coal bin where you belong."

Team stops at a restaurant. Waiter won't take your order.

"Didn't you see the sign on the door? No niggers allowed."

What are you gonna do then? Fight him? Ruin all my plans?

Answer me, you black son of a bitch!

You want a player who doesn't have the guts to fight back?

No.

No.

I want a player who's got the guts not to fight back.

People aren't gonna like this.

They're gonna do anything to get you to react.

Echo a curse with a curse and, uh, they'll hear only yours.

Follow a blow with a blow and they'll say, "The Negro lost his temper."

That "The Negro does not belong."

Your enemy will be out in force...

...and you cannot meet him on his own low ground.

We win with hitting, running, fielding. Only that.

We win if the world is convinced of two things:

That you are a fine gentleman and a great baseball player.

Like our Savior...

...you gotta have the guts...

...to turn the other cheek.

Can you do it?

You give me a uniform...

...you give me a, heh, number on my back...

...and I'll give you the guts.

[PHONE RINGING]

Hello?

JACKIE [OVER PHONE]: Rae...

[CHUCKLES]

Jack.

I'm in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn? For what?

Uh...

I don't want to say on the phone.

In fact, I'm not supposed to tell anyone.

What's going on? Aren't you supposed to be playing in Chicago?

We've been tested, you and me.

[OVER PHONE] We've done everything the right way. We have.

Me trying to make money, you finishing school.

We don't owe the world a thing.

[OVER PHONE] Only each other.

Jack, what are you talking about? What is going on? What happened?

Will you marry me, Rae?

Absolutely.

RAUGHS]

Yes. Yes.

When?

Um...

How about right now?

Did my mom look happy?

Yes. You know your mother loves me.

Did my gram look happy?

Yes.

My brother look happy?

Heh, your brother? Ha, ha.

Everyone looked happy. I've never seen so many happy-looking people.

Did Jack Robinson look happy?

What if I can't make you happy?

Too late.

You already do.

It's you and me, Rae.

Ooh, ha, ha.

Um...

Till the wheels fall off. Hmm.

Oh, Jack, the world is waiting for us.

The world can wait one more night.

Are you coming, Mrs. Robinson?

I'd follow you anywhere, Mr. Robinson.

Okay.

Okay.

WOMAN [ON PA]: Flight to Pensacola leaves in an hour.

Flight to Pensacola leaves in an hour.

"Flight to Pensacola leaves in an hour. Flight to Pensacola leaves in an hour."

Are you okay?

I've just never seen one before.

JACKIE: Oh.

Yeah, we're not in Pasadena anymore.

Rae?

Rae?

Rae!

Oh, boy.

We have to lighten the plane.

There's some bad weather east of here.

A heavy plane is dangerous.

So someone'll have to cancel.

Look, I'm with the Brooklyn Dodger organization.

I have to get down to Daytona.

I'm supposed to report to spring training in the morning.

WOMAN 1: We'll do our best to get you there by tomorrow, but it might be the day after.

Jack. WOMAN 2: Right this way.

You gave away our seats?

You get us back on that plane.

You get us back on that plane right now.

Do you wanna call the sheriff...

...or should I?

MAN: Watch your step.

Oop, there he is. There's my boy.

Folks, stand back, we'll get the bags out.

Jackie Robinson.

Wendell Smith.

Pittsburgh Courier.

A reporter?

[CHUCKLES]

Mr. Rickey sent me to meet you. I'm gonna be your Boswell.

My who?

SMITH: Your chronicler.

Your advance man.

Hell, even your chauffeur.

Mrs. Robinson.

It's Rachel.

Man, you two looked wiped out.

You got a car?

Uh-huh.

SMITH: Brooklyn plays downtown. Montreal just a few blocks from here.

Joe and Duff Harris live here.

He gets out the Negro vote. He does a lot of good for colored people.

Now, Mr. Rickey set it up himself.

"If the Robinsons can't stay at the hotels...

...they should stay someplace that represents something."

You'll stay here all but a few days at the end of the week...

...when the Dodger organization goes to Sanford. It's about 45 minutes away.

You'll stay here, Rachel.

This'll be your home when Jackie has to travel.

Uh, where are the other wives staying?

Welcome to Daytona Beach.

There are no other wives. WOMAN: You must be Jackie.

You're the only one that Mr. Rickey allowed to spring training.

Thank you. Mm-hm. After you.

MAN 1: Come on, now, skip.

MAN 2: All right, here we go, boys!

' Got it! I got itl " got it!

That was a pretty big hop, there.

You got the hop! Ha, ha.

Spring training. It's where we work out our differences.

DUROCHER: All right!

You boys continue to pretend you're ballplayers.

Morning, Leo. Good morning, Mr. Rickey.

How are they doing?

They're rusty, but we'll have them oiled up in no time, ready to go.

Oop.

First day of spring training.

Pittsburgh Courier readers need to know how it feels.

It's okay.

That's not exactly a headline.

It's all I got.

Look, Jack, right now, it's just me asking you.

But there's gonna be The New York Times and the Sporting News.

You should think about it. If they ask something, I'll answer it.

Okay, well here's one for you:

What if one of these white pitchers throws at you?

Look, they're gonna try to get under your skin. You need to be ready.

Listen, listen.

You know...

You know how when you're at the plate...

...you want to see the ball come in slow?

You want to see these questions come in slow too.

Hey, Jackie. Jackie, you think you can make it with these white boys?

Uh, I had no problems with white men in the service or at UCLA.

What you gonna do if one of these pitchers throws at your head?

Yeah, Jack.

I'll duck. Heh, that's a good one.

MAN: Hey, Jack, what's your natural position?

I've been playing shortstop.

Are you after Pee Wee Reese's job?

JACKIE: Uh...

Reese plays for Brooklyn.

I'm still trying to make Montreal.

Hey, Jack. Hey, Jack, is this about politics?

It's about getting paid.

MAN: "About getting paid." Hear what he said? "it's about getting paid."

He's gotta be kidding.

Yeah. Good luck, Hop.

Clay, Jackie Robinson.

Jackie, I'd like you to meet Clay Hopper. Manager of the Montreal Royals.

Jack. They call me Hop.

Now, we ain't doing much today. Just tossing the ball around, hitting a few.

You can probably toss with those fellows over there.

Jorgensen, come here!

You're not playing him at shortstop, huh, Clay?

Oh, he's getting by on a quick release. His arm's too weak for short.

I think second base is his spot.

I agree.

Clay...

...I need you to get the other players to act like gentlemen around him.

Treat him like they would any other teammate.

Hmm, mm-hm.

Be natural, work together in harmony. Mm-hm.

[GRUNTS]

[UMPIRE YELLS THEN RICKEY CHUCKLES]

MAN 1: Got the double up!

That was practically superhuman.

Heh, "superhuman"?

I mean, don't get carried away, Mr. Rickey.

That's still a nigger out there.

Come on in now. Grab a bat. Who's up?

MAN 2: Nice job, boys!

Clay, I realize that attitude is part of your cultural heritage.

That you practically nursed race prejudice at your mother's breast...

...so I'll let that go.

But I will tell you this:

You will either manage Robinson fairly and correctly...

...or you, sir, can be unemployed.

Yes, sir.

MAN 3: Let's go! Come on, guys, let's go!

Way to turn two, Jackie.

BROCK: Well, well, lookie here.

Jackie, I'm Mr. Brock.

Welcome to Sanford, Florida.

Thank you for having us.

The day belongs to decent-minded people.

Wendell, always good to see you. You as well.

Yeah, well, the wife's inside cooking.

You know what she asked me? She asked me this morning:

What do you serve when a hero's coming to dinner?

Heh, um, Mr. Brock, I'm just a ballplayer.

Oh, no, no.

You tell that to all the little colored boys playing baseball in Florida today.

To them, you a hero.

MAN 1: Here you go, ma'am. RACHAEL: Thank you, sir.

Here you go.

MAN 2: Scorecards, get your scorecards here!

Scorecards here! Get your scorecards here!

Ed! You stay where I can see you.

Mom, I'm 1O years old!

Come on.

MAN 3 [ON PA]: Welcome to the inner-league game between the Brooklyn Dodgers...

...and their Minor League affiliate, the Montreal Royals.

[CROWD CHEERING]

MAN 4: There you go, Pee Wee!

MAN 3 [ON PA]: Now coming to bat for the Royals...

...number nine, Jackie Robinson.

[CROWD BOOING]

MAN 5: Get out of here!

Stand up tall, Jackie!

MAN 6: Get out, nigger!

Jack's got a thick skin. He'll be okay.

Well, how about you?

I better get one in a hurry, heh.

MAN 7: Have pride, Jackie!

Look. Look, there he is, black as the ace of spades!

Hey, nigger boy! What are you doing playing baseball?

MAN 8: Hit a home run, Jackie!

Please, God, let Jackie show them what we can do.

Please. MAN 9: All right, now, Jackie Robinson!

WOMAN: Let's go, Jackie!

MAN 10: Come on, Jackie!

UMPIRE: Ball!

[CROWD CHEERING]

[BOOING]

They're giving you a chance! Do something about it!

MAN 11: Let's go, Higbe! Shut him down right here!

UMPIRE: Ball!

Durocher, tell him to throw some strikes!

Let him hit!

Come on now, come on now!

MAN 12: He ain't scared of you, Higbe!

MAN 13: You show him, Jackie!

UMPIRE: Ball!

[CROWD CHEERS]

Come on, rook. Ain't you gonna swing at something?

Higbe, just settle down. Let's get the ball over the plate now, all right?

UMPIRE: Ball four!

MAN 14: You stink, Higbe!

[ALL CHEERING]

It's just a walk.

Ha, ha, who can blame them?

MAN 15: Good job, Jackie.

MAN 3 [ON PA]: Now coming to bat for the Royals...

...number 3, Spider Jorgensen.

MAN 16: Let's go, Hig!

All right, Higbe, shake it off, there.

We got this, boy. We got this, boy. Let's do it.

Well, throw it over there! What are you waiting for?

UMPIRE: Safe!

[CHEERING]

MAN 17: Come on, pop up, Jack.

[SIGHS]

UMPIRE: Ball one!

[UMPIRE YELLS THEN CROWD CHEERING]

Yeah, Jackie!

MAN 18: Heads up, Jack. Get the sign.

BRAGAN: He's going! MAN 19: Runner! Runner!

BRAGAN: Come on, move! MAN 20: Get back!

HIGBE: Get him, Schultzy! Get him, Schultzy!

SCHULTZ: Here we go!

STANKY: What are you gonna do now? Come on!

BRAGAN: Outside! Outside!

STANKY: On your horse, Bragan! On your horse! Outside!

Now! BRAGAN: Go, Stanky! Go, Stank!

Ooh.

[CHEERING]

Hey, all right!


Hey! Don't you know nothing?

You're supposed to get back when I step off.

What are you doing? You can dance with him later! Focus on the plate!

Come on, now! Work the plate! Work the plate!

Come on, Higbe, don't worry about the runner. Get this guy at the plate.

UMPIRE: Timeout!

That's a balk.

Runner, take home.

[CHEERING]

Son of a bitch.

He didn't come to play, he came to kill.

[WHISTLES]

What happened? I don't understand.

The pitcher dropped the ball. It's a balk. Therefore, Jackie scores.

But he didn't do anything.

Oh, Mama, yes, he did. He discombobulated the man.

He-- What?

BROCK: Phew.

I hope Jackie's sleeping all right.

Chasing baseballs in the sun all day? Put me in my grave.

[BOTH LAUGH]

How they treating him out there? Well, they treat him okay.

As far as I can see.

Well, you can find good people every place.

Even here in Sanford.

Is he in there?

Who is it that you're looking for?

The Nigra ballplayer.

Is he in there?

He's asleep right now.

Maybe you wanna come back in the morning.

[CHUCKLES]

No, I ain't coming back.

Other fellas is coming.

And they ain't happy that he's staying here in Sanford...

...playing ball with white boys.

Now, let me tell you something, sir. No, you listen to me, young man.

You best just skedaddle on out of here.

Because if they get here and he's still here...

...there's gonna be trouble.

You understand?

Trouble.

Trouble, trouble, trouble.

[MAN CHUCKLES]

Mr. Brock.

May I please use your telephone?

Wake him up and get him out of there.

Put him in the car and, uh, start driving to Daytona Beach. Now.

Uh, oh, and, uh, Wendell...

...under no circumstances are you to tell him what this is about, uh...

I don't want him getting it in his head...

...to stay there and fight.


MAN 1: Where's he at?

MAN 2: I don't know. Think he's getting another one.

MAN 1: Hey, Jim. You escorting that boy out of town?

MAN 2: Hey, look at this.

What's that?

[COUNTRY MUSIC PLAYING OVER SPEAKERS]

What's he want?

[TIRES SCREECHING AND HORN HONKING]

Hey, hey, hey!

[SIGHS]

What the hell, Wendell?

A man came by while you was asleep.

He said more men were coming.

It might have been those fellas.

Mr. Rickey said to get you to Daytona Beach ASAP.

Why didn't you say so?

Mr. Rickey was afraid you wouldn't leave. You'd want to stay there and fight.

[LAUGHING]

Man, what in the hell are you laughing at?

I thought you woke me because I was cut from the team.

[JACKIE LAUGHING]

You got a strange sense of humor, man.

[CROWD APPLAUDING AND CHEERING]

MAN 1: Two, two, two! Take him back. Throw him out now!

UMPIRE: Safe!

[CHEERING]

MAN 2: You're too fast for them, Jackie!

All right, way to go. Way to go, boy!

MAN 3: Get that nigger off the field!

Come on, Spider, bring him in. Let's go.

MAN 4: We got him.

MAN 5: Four! Four! Four!

MAN 3: No cut! MAN 4: He's running through!

[GRUNTS]

Safe!

[CHEERING]

OFFICER: Get off the field.

What? Get off the field. Now.

Why? Because it's against the law, that's why.

No nigger's gonna play with white boys.

Now you get off the field, or go to jail.

You use that thing, you better hit me between the eyes.

Hey, hold on, now. What'd he do wrong?

We ain't having no Nigras mix with white boys in this town.

Y'all ain't up-states now. They gotta keep separate.

The Brooklyn Dodgers ain't changing our way of living.

Where y'all from, anyhow?

I'm from Greenwood, Mississippi.

Ha, ha, hell, boy, you ought to know better.

Now, you tell your Nigra I said to git.

RACHAEL: What did you do?

Oh, I said:

"Okay, skipper. I'm a-gitting, I'm a-gitting, I'm a-gitting.

You don't want no trouble." You did not!

Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Ha, ha.

Then I took a cold shower.

We lost two to one.

Aw.

Okay, skipper. I'm a-gitting, I'm a-gitting.

[BOTH LAUGHING]

Oh, no, you not getting away from me.

Jack.

Get back, Rae.

I want you to know something.

Yeah, what's that?

I want you to know I'm pulling for you to make good.

A lot of folks around here feel the same way.

If a man's got the goods, he deserves a fair chance, that's all.

Ma'am.

JACKIE: You wanted to see me, Mr. Rickey?

Bermuda grass grows so well here.

I wish we could get it to grow like this up in Brooklyn.

Yeah.

I like the way it smells when they mow it.

Heh, me too.

Jackie...

...it is my pleasure...

...to tell you that you have earned a place with the Montreal Royals.

When they head north on Tuesday for opening day with Jersey City...

...you'll be on the train.

[CHUCKLES]

I won't let you down.

Yeah, I know you won't.

If you don't mind, I'd like to go tell my wife.

Ah, you give her my regards.

[JACKIE CHUCKLES]

Mr. Rickey?

Why are you doing this?

[RICKEY SIGHS]

I'm in the baseball business.

With you and the other Negro players I hope to bring up next year...

...I can put together a team that can win the World Series.

And the World Series means money.

You believe that, don't you?

I don't think it matters what I believe.

Only what I do.

Agreed.

Therefore...

...I want you to worry those pitchers till they come apart.

Run as you see fit.

Sometimes you'll get caught, but that doesn't matter.

Ty Cobb got caught plenty.

You just run those bases like the devil himself.

Put the natural fear of God in them.

Yes, sir.

MAN [ON PA]: Train for Atlanta and points north now boarding.

Train for Atlanta and points north now boarding.

There he is.

All aboard!

Young man.


[WHISTLE BLOWS]

I can still hear him.

I can still hear him!

[BAND PLAYING "THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER"]

[ALL CHEERING]

Play ball!

MAN [ON PA]: And now the lineup of the visiting Montreal Royals.

Batting first, playing center field, Marv Rackley.

Batting second, playing second base, Jackie Robinson.

Batting third, playing left field, George Shuba.

Hey, you okay?

I think I might be sick.

Excuse me, Wendell.

MAN: Popcorn! Get your popcorn!

You all right, honey?

I'm sick.

Don't know why.

Mm, thank you.

When did you have your monthly last?

It may be that you're pregnant.

MAN [ON PA]: Now batting for Montreal, number 9, Jackie Robinson.

[CLEARS THROAT]

[SIGHS]

MAN 1: Come on, Jack!

Come on, Jackie.

Come on, batter. MAN 2: Put it here!

Whoo!

[ALL CHEERING AND APPLAUDING]

He may be superhuman after all.

MAN 3: Way to go.

Oh, Jack.

[SIGHS]

[BABIES coome]

Yeah.

My daddy left. Heh.

He left us flat...

...in Cairo, Georgia.

I was only six months older than you are now.

I don't remember him.

Nothing good, nothing bad.

Nothing.

You will remember me.

I'm gonna be here with you till the day I die.

[PHONE RINGING]

Yeah.

RICKEY [OVER PHONE]: Hello, Leo.

What are you doing?

I'm bowling.

No, I'm snowshoeing in the Alps.

I'm trying to sleep, Mr. Rickey. It's still dark out.

RICKEY: Another spring training is upon us, Leo. In Panama.

I need to know your attitude towards Jackie Robinson.

I don't got an attitude toward him.

RICKEY: Eight times in the Bible we're told to love our neighbor as ourself.

It's one of God's most repeated commands.

DUROCHER [OVER PHONE]: Well, I don't know much about the Bible.

But I didn't go to school just to eat my lunch.

I'll play an elephant if he can help us win...

...and to make room for him, I'll send my own brother home.

Oh, what are you gonna do with me?

We're playing for money here. Winning is the only thing that matters.

[OVER PHONE] Is he a nice guy?

Well, if by nice you mean soft, no.

No, not particularly.

Good, he can't afford to be.

Nice guys finish last. And what about nice girls?

RICKEY: So you have no objection to him?

None whatsoever. Can I go back to sleep now?

Yes. DUROCHER: All right.

RICKEY: Oh, and Leo. What?

The Bible has a thing or two to say about adultery as well.

I'm sure it's got a lot to say about a lot. Good night.

What am I gonna do with you?

I thought you knew.

You gonna take care of your mama?

No? You better.

Mm-hm.

You gonna take care of my mama?

Come here, baby.

There you go. Come here, baby, I got you.

Promise me you'll write?

When have I ever not written?

I want you to know I'm there for you, even if it's words on paper.

Rae...

...you're in my heart.

[BOTH CHUCKLE]

You're getting close now, and the closer you get, the worse they'll be.

Don't let them get to you.

I won't.

God built me to last.

Hmm.

I'll see you in Brooklyn in eight weeks, oh.

It might be Montreal.

It's gonna be Brooklyn.

I know it is.

Why do you think Rickey's got us playing spring games here in Panama, huh?

He wants us to get used to Negro crowds.

He wants more of them than there are of us.

And he's hoping it'll make us more comfortable being around Robinson.

HIGBE: Ahem. All right, ahem.

Listen up. This is what I got.

"We, the undersigned Brooklyn Dodgers, will not play ball...

...on the same field as Jackie Robinson."

That's right.

Kirby Higbe.

I'll sign that. All right.

Brooklyn Dodger Declaration of Independence.

That's right.

Give me that.

[CLEARS THROAT]

Y'all sure about this? You wanna play ball with a nigger?

[SIGHS]

MAN 1: Skip's got you out in left?

MAN 2: Yeah, for today. MAN 3: Hey, Robinson.

What do you want me to do with this? Well, you play first base.

Coach, I never played first base in my life.

Well, it's like this:

Brooklyn's got a solid second baseman. We got Pee Wee Reese over at short.

But first base is up for grabs.

STANKY: Come on in.

HIGBE: Hey, Stank. What's going on?

Well, we got a petition going on, Stank.

Keep Robinson in Montreal. Where he belongs.

[SCOFFS]

Can't sign now, boys.

I'm indisposed.

How about I just catch up with you later?

SUKEFORTH: That ball's coming in a lot faster, Jack.

The angle's a lot different in second.

Take all the time in the world on second. You're getting it.

[SPEAKING IN SPANISH]

That's like you have a suitcase on your hand there, Jack.

The new glove, it's the big one there, Jack. You'll get used to it.

Give me the pen.

You know Mr. Rickey wants you to play conspicuous baseball.

To be so good that the Dodgers demand to have you on their team.

That's it.

So I thought about it for a while...

...and I looked up "conspicuous" in the dictionary.

It means "to attract notice or attention."

Conspicuous.

Look, it's like this: I got a wife, I got a baby and I got no money.

So I don't wanna step in anything, so...

You want to skip me on this one, Dix. I'm not interested.

What if they put him at shortstop? Exactly.

That's right, Pee Wee.

Well, I figure if he's man enough to take my job...

-...he deserves it. Ugh.

Oh, the hell he does.

He does not have the ice water in his veins to play big league baseball.

That's right. So let him show what he's got.

Robinson can either play or he can't.

It'll all take care of itself.

SUKEFORTH: It's gonna cut you off.

So right foot on the bag when it comes.

There you go. That's nice, Jackie. Nice, Jackie. Pop that foot off.

When that ball comes, that right foot, just pop that.

Pop that-- Don't leave that foot on there.

[PHONE RINGS]

[SIGHS]

Yes, Mr. Rickey.

RICKEY [OVER PHONE]: Have our friends in the press gone to sleep?

We are the only people awake on this entire isthmus, Mr. Rickey.

RICKEY: About this, uh, petition, Leo.

I think a deliberate violation of the law deserves...

...a little show of force.

I leave it to you, Leo.

Good night.

Good night, Mr. Rickey.

[MOSQUITO BUZZES]

So, what are we doing here in the night? Leo said to get everybody together.

I was sleeping good. Down in the kitchen?

Wake up now, ladies! Wake up!

It has come to my attention that some of you fellas don't wanna play with Robinson.

That you've even got a petition you've drawn up and you're all going to sign.

You know what you can do with your petition.

You can wipe your asses with it.

Oh, come on, Leo. Come on, what?

Ballplayers gotta live together, shower together.

It ain't fair to force him on us like this.

Besides, I got a hardware store--

Screw your hardware store, Dix! And if you don't like it, screw you.

Mr. Rickey will be happy to make other arrangements for you.

Now, I don't care if he is yellow, or black...

...or has stripes like a zebra.

If Robinson can help us win, and everything I have seen says he can...

...then he is gonna play on this ball club!

Like it, lump it, make your minds up to it, because he's coming!

And think about this when your heads hit the pillows tonight.

He's only the first, boys.

Only the first.

There are more coming right behind him every day...

...and they have got talent and they wanna play.

Oh, yeah, they are gonna come scratching and diving.

So I would forget your petition and worry about the field...

...because unless you fellas pay a little more attention to your work...

...they're gonna run you right out of the ball park!

RICKEY: Bragan, most of your teammates have already, uh...

...recanted on this petition nonsense.

Are you really here to tell me you don't wanna play with Robinson?

Yes, sir.

My friends back in Birmingham would never forgive me.

Well, what about your friends in Brooklyn?

I don't know.

Hmm.

Then I will accommodate you.

As long as you give me your word that you will do your very best for this team...

...until I can work out a trade.

Do you think I would quit on anyone? I don't quit, sir.

Only on yourself, apparently.

Taxi!

Hey, Jack.

You again.

That's right. Me again.

There something wrong with that, Jack?

Where's the car?

Right this way.

They can't keep you in Montreal for long.

After these exhibition games, they're gonna have to bring you up.

You don't have two words to rub together, do you?

[SOFT JAZZ MUSIC PLAYING OVER SPEAKERS]

[MUSIC STOPS]

You ever wonder why I sit down behind third base...

...with my typewriter on my knees?

Does that ever cross your mind?

It's because Negro reporters aren't allowed in the press box.

So guess what?

You, Mr. Robinson, are not the only one with something at stake here.

I apologize.

You've been there for me through this...

...more than anyone besides Rae and Mr. Rickey.

But I guess that's what bothers me.

How do you mean?

I don't like needing someone to be there for me.

I don't like needing anyone for anything.

I never have.

You a hard case, Jack Robinson.

H9)'-

Is it okay if I keep driving you, or should I let you get out so you can walk?

Hmm?

[BOTH CHUCKLE]

"Branch Rickey cannot afford to upset team chemistry...

...so the only thing keeping Robinson off the Dodgers now, plainly...

...is the attitude of the players.

If it softens at the sight of Jackie's skills...

...he'll join the club sometime between April 10th and April 15th.

Otherwise, Robinson will spend the year back in Montreal."

Oh, for the love of Pete.

He batted .625 in the exhibition games against them.

Us, them-- Against us!

[PHONE RINGING]

Judas Priest!

Jane Ann, are you out there?

Branch Rickey.

Yes, uh, this is him.

The commissioner of what?

Uh, yes, put him through.

The Commissioner of Baseball.

Branch. Ha! How are you?

RICKEY [OVER PHONE]: Good, Happy. What can I do for you?

How'd you feel about losing Durocher for the year, Branch?

Uh, I'm sorry, Happy, heh, I thought you said lose Durocher for a year.

HAPPY [OVER PHONE]: I got a notice today...

...from the Catholic Youth Organization vowing a ban on baseball...

...if Durocher wasn't punished for his moral looseness.

[SCOFFS]

You're joking.

I wish I were, but it's this business of this actress out in California.

She's recently divorced and Durocher's the cause.

They say they may even be illegally married.

[CHUCKLES]

Now I know you're joking.

I'm not.

Thing of it is, Branch, uh...

...this CYO, they buy a lot of seats, they draw a lot of water...

...and I can't afford to ruffle their feathers.

[CHUCKLES]

I'm sorry, am I mixing my metaphors there?

Happy, you know very well my organization is entering a tempest.

I need Durocher at the helm.

He's the only man that can handle this much trouble.

In fact, he loves it.

You're cutting off my right hand!

I have no choice.

I'm gonna sit your manager, Branch.

Leo Durocher is suspended from baseball for a year.

Happy, you can't do this, you son of a bitch!

[DIAL TONE]

MAN [OVER RADIO]: As the search continues...

...to replace Leo Durocher, I have it on good authority...

...that former Yankee manager Joe McCarthy has turned down the request...

...of Branch Rickey to take the reins of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

He is not the only man to say no.

And so with the 1947 season about to begin...

...the Dodgers are still without a manager.

[GOSPEL MUSIC PLAYING OVER RADIO]

Now we present once again Mary--

[RINGING]

Hello?

JANE [OVER PHONE]: Mr. Robinson? This is Jane Ann in Mr. Rickey's office.

He needs to see you right away.

He has a contract for you to sign.

Contract for me to sign.

Okay.

Hello?

Shoot!

RICKEY: Clyde, you're good. Jane Ann, get in there.

Come on.

Harold, telegram the press. Say this:

"Today the Brooklyn Dodgers organization...

...has purchased the contract of Jackie Robinson from the Montreal Royals.

He will report immediately."


I love you.

I love you.


[CHATTERING]

MAN: Lookie here.

Hey, you're looking for your locker, aren't you, son? Follow me.

I'm Hermanski. Welcome to Brooklyn.

Greetings.

Hey, man. Ralph Branca.

Greetings.

Greetings. Okay.

I just found out today. The best I can do.

I'll get you straightened out tomorrow. Okay?

It's okay.


[CROWD APPLAUDING AND CHEERING]

MAN 1: Robinson, can we get a photo?

MAN 2: Robinson, turn around! Come on, come on, Mr. Robinson.

MAN 3: Good luck, sir!

MAN 4: Get out of here! MAN 5: We don't need you!

Get out of here!

Yeah! There he is!

MAN 6 [SINGING]: Oh, say can you see By the dawn's early light What so proudly we hailed At the twilight's last gleaming?

Who's broad stripes and bright stars Through the perilous fight O'er the ramparts we watched Were so gallantly streaming?

And the rockets red glare The bombs bursting in air Gave proof through the night That our flag was still there Oh, say Does that star-spangled banner yet wave O'er the land of the free And the home of the brave

[CROWD CHEERING]

MAN 7: Play ball!

Another opening day, Harold.

All future, no past.

It's a blank page, sir.

BARBER: Hello, everybody.

It's The OI' Redhead speaking here from high up in the catbird seat at Ebbets Field.

Welcome to opening day of the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers season.

As many of you know, the Dodgers finished 96-60 last season.

Respectable, but still two games behind St. Louis...

...who would, of course, go on to take the World Series.

The Dodgers looking to move up this year and win the pennant.

ANNOUNCER [ON PA]: Now batting for the Dodgers...

BARBER: One out. Bottom of the 1st.

Headed to the plate now for his first big league at bat is Dodger rookie:

Jackie Robinson.

Jackie is very definitely brunet.

[CROWD JEERING]

The Dodgers still without a manager...

...as Leo Durocher was suspended earlier this week.

MAN 1: You got this, Jackie!

BARBER: It's a shirtsleeve afternoon.

Johnny Sain looking in. When he's got that fastball working...

...what I mean to say is, he can toss a lamb chop past a hungry wolf.

Oh, and it's a hard-hit ball down the third baseline.

Elliott gobbles it up and makes the long toss across the diamond.

You're out!

BARBER: And Robinson is out.

Come on! Ump, get some glasses!

You blew it! Al, you blew that call!

You blew it!

BARBER: It was a close play at first. A tie usually goes to the runner but not this time.

So that first big league hit will remain to be seen.

So the Giants got Mize batting cleanup.

Shame about Leo.

Inevitable, I suppose.

I asked him if she was worth it, he said yes.

[CHUCKLING]

How's the retirement?

Oh, it's just fine.

You know, the roses are--

[CHUCKLES]

Hell of a thing when a man's got good health...

...and plenty of money...

...and absolutely nothing to do.

Heh, well, I'm perfectly happy.

Is that so?

You know, when I took the Cleveland uniform off two years ago...

...I promised the missus I'd never put on another uniform again.

So the roses are beautiful...

...and, uh, I sleep better too.

Roses and sleep are two wonderful things, Burt.

But sleep you can get when you're in your casket, and flowers look great on top of it.

But, uh, you don't look like a dead man to me, Burt.

What's this about, Branch?

I need you to manage the Dodgers for me, Burt.

No. Now, wait.

We're a ship without a captain and there's a typhoon coming.

I'm sorry, no.

Don't you miss the game, Burt?

Working with the players?

Helping to get the best out of the team?

Go on, look me in the eye and tell me you don't.

Baseball's the only life for an old pepper pot like me.

But I promised my wife, Branch.

You promised her you'd never put on a uniform again.

You didn't promise her you wouldn't manage.

Wear a suit and a tie like Connie Mack.

[SIGHS]

Come on, Burt.

What do you say?

Burt, I need you.

What do you say?

[CHATTERING]

All right, men. Men?

Men?

I know you've all, uh, heard the news. I'm your new manager.

I don't have much to say to you.

Just, uh...

...don't be afraid...

...of old Burt Shotton as your manager.

You can win the pennant in spite of me.

There's, uh...

There's nothing I can do to hurt you.

So, uh...

You Robinson?

I thought so.

So let's get out there and beat those, uh-- Who are we playing?

Giants, Burt.

Giants! Let's go beat the Giants!

ANNOUNCER [ON PA]: Now batting, number 42...

...first baseman, Jackie Robinson.

You mark my words and circle this date.

Negroes are gonna run the white man straight out of baseball.

I'm not prejudiced. It's physiological.

They have a longer heel bone. Gives them an unfair speed advantage.

ANNOUNCER [ON PA]: Here's Robinson. Jack holds that club down by the end...

...rear foot at the back end of the box, slight open stance, bent at the knees.

Jack swings.

That ball is screaming out to left. Harfung watching it go and...

So long! Home run!

[CHUCKLING]

Jackie Robinson has his first Major League home run.

Was that because his heel bone was longer, Bob? Hmm?

[ALL LAUGHING]

"Heel bone longer."

Sorry I'm late. Class ran long.

That's okay.

It's so cold and raw out, I don't want him getting sick at the game.

Fed him already.

All of his bits are on the table over there.

He'll be nice and warm in here.

Thank you, Alice.

BARBER: Bottom of the 1 st.

The skies are leaden now. Pretty threatening.

Eddie Stanky, safe at first.

And Jackie Robinson stepping to the plate.

There's a slight breeze coming in from right field, blowing towards left.

It shouldn't give much of an advantage to the right-handed hitters.

Hey! nigger!

Black nigger!

Hey, why don't you go back to the cotton fields where you come from, huh?

I saw you swing your way out of a jungle.

Chapman, the Phillies manager, seems to be chirping something out to Robinson.

Chapman, a hothead during his playing days...

...has carried that reputation right into his managing.

MAN 1: He's got half a mind, Jackie.

MAN 2: Take that monkey out now!

CHAPMAN : You all right? You don't look all right.

Nigger, nigger, nigger!

Come on, nigger, nigger, nigger!

CROWD: Whoa!

Welcome to the big leagues, rook!

Come on, now, get up.

Can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen, rook.

Right, Bobby, heh?

CHAPMAN: Those are nice dance moves, Bojangles.

Leave your hat on the ground, maybe somebody'll throw some money in it, huh?

Put on a little show, nigger.

Do a little shuffle.

Come on, midnight! He's all right, he's all right.

CHAPMAN : All right, nigger.

Let's do this. You ought to be careful in this sunshine.

Tar baby skin gonna melt.

CROWD: Whoa! MAN 3: You can't hit that?

MAN 4: One more! Strike him!

CHAPMAN: Why don't you get that boy that you sent down...

...to the International League, huh?

That's where Africans play, ain't it?

Who was that?

Who'd you put out of a job, nigger?

Come on, Jackie.

BARBER: Robinson, waiting for the pitch.

Swings, and it's a fly ball out to left.

Ennis settles under it for the out.

Sky's starting to clear now, the sun pushing its way through.

Nigger can't play.

It's all right, he can take it.

God built him to last.


BARBER: No score, bottom of the 4th.

Spider Jorgensen taking a small lead off first.

Jorgensen, a rookie, spent last season in Montreal.

Here's the pitch.

And Stanky lines a single out to right field.

MAN 1 : Three!

MAN 2: Hung low. Now there you go. ANNOUNCER [ON PA]: Next up for the Dodgers:

Jackie Robinson.

CHAPMAN: Hey!

Hey, Pee Wee!

Hey, what's this nigger doing for you all...

...that you let him drink out of the same water fountain as you?

Huh?

I hope you don't take showers with him.

Because you gonna be a mess!

Hey! nigger!

You like white women, huh?

Hey, which one of these Dodger wives are you climbing on tonight?

UMPIRE: Time!

Wait, timeout, hold on. He's gotta take a nap.

Hey, which one is it?

I think I know!

Dixie?

[CHUCKLING]

Sorry. Dixie, I hate to be the one to tell you.

I saw her walking earlier with a little bit of a bow in her step.

It'll be fine.

It'll be fine. He looks like a nice boy.

That right, boy?

Come on, nigger, nigger, nigger!

BARBER: Two men on for Robinson.

Here's the pitch from Leonard.

Swung on, and it's a towering infield pop-up.

Seminick settles under it.

Hey, is that a home run? MAN 3: Yeah.

If you're playing in an elevator shaft.

Can of corn, and Robinson is out.

You don't belong here, nigger!

You hear me? Why don't you look in the mirror?

This a white man's game.

All right? Get that through your thick monkey skull!

Look at me, baby.

[PANTING]

Look at me, baby. Look at me.

[SCREAMING]

[SOBBING]

No!

No.

The next white son of a bitch that opens his mouth...

...I'll smash his goddamn teeth in.

RICKEY: You can't do that, Jack.

I'm supposed to just let this go on?

RICKEY: These men have to live with themselves.

I have to live with myself too.

Right now I'm living a sermon out there.

You don't matter now, Jack.

You're in this thing.

You don't have the right to pull out from the backing of people...

...that believe in you, that respect you, that need you.

Is that so?

If you fight, they won't say that Chapman forced you to.

They'll say that you're in over your head. That you don't belong here.

Do you know what it's like having somebody do this to you?

No.

No.

You do.

You're the one...

...living the sermon.

In the wilderness.

Forty days.

All of it.

Only you.

There's not a goddamn thing I can do about it.

Of course there is!

You can get out there and hit!

You can get on base and score.

You can win this game for us.

We need you.

Everybody needs you!

You're medicine, Jack!


MAN: Let's go, fellas.

They're taking the field.

MAN: Now, get out there.

Be smart, fellas.

Let's go!

Who's playing first?

I'm gonna need a new bat.

BARBER: Eight zeros on the scoreboard for the Phi/lies, seven for the Dodgers.

No score, with the bottom of the 8th coming up.

CHAPMAN: All right, nigger.

Hey, boy!

Porch monkey!

Hey, nigger, I know you can hear me.

You know what you're here for, don't you, huh?

You're here to get the nigger dollars for Rickey at the gate.

You don't belong here, nigger!

Sit down. You sit down or I sit you down.

CHAPMAN: What's the problem, Stank?

You're the problem, you disgrace. What the hell kind of man are you?

You know he can't fight back. Why don't you try picking on someone who can.

I'm not gonna fight you, get thrown out of the game.

Stanky now having a chin-wag with his ex-teammate Chapman.

Both men, masters of distraction.

Stanky from second and Chapman from the dugout.

We'll have to wait and see what the umpire does...

...since he's well within his rights to kick Stanky out.

Hey, 12! That's enough. Back to the dugout.

You shut your mouth or I shut it for you.

This ain't happening.

Hey, Stank? What's it like being a nigger's nigger?

I don't know, Chapman. What's it like to be a redneck piece of shit?

BARBER: Robinson up.

Here's the pitch.

And Jack pokes a soft hit past second.

MAN 1 : Sorry!

BARBER: Not much of a hit to speak of, but Jackie is standing on first.

Go, Jackie.

ANNOUNCER [ON PA]: Center fielder, number 7, Pete Reiser.

BARBER: Mr. Pete Reiser steps up into the batter's box.

Robinson with another big lead off first.

He's just as restless as a cat with a hot foot.

MAN 2: Back.

Whoa! Safe!

[CROWD CHEERING]

BARBER: The Flatbush faithful voicing their approval of Jack...

...as this type of scrappy play...

...is exactly what they've grown to expect of their beloved Bums.

MAN 3: Play now.

Work it.

Steal it, sweetheart. Take it.

Strike three, you're out. MAN 4: He's going!

MAN 5: Down! UMPIRE: Safe!

BARBER: The Dodgers, with an excellent chance...

...as Robinson has willed himself into scoring position.

MAN 6: Thafiaboy.

BARBER: Young Gene Hermanski steps to the plate, playing right today.

Come on!

BARBER: Hermanski cracks a single to left...

...and Robinson is able to trot home for the first run...

...that may also be the decider.

All right.

MAN 7: Jackie! MAN 8: All right!

Hey, Robinson!

Thanks.

For what?

You're on my team. What the hell am I supposed to do?

Nice hit.

All this fuss over a rookie.

What, he's got 10, 12 at bats.

Y'all gonna spoil him.

Chapman, do you think it cost you the game?

No. I think that a single out to the left field cost us the game.

[CHUCKLES]

You think you were a little hard on Robinson?

No. Look, we treat him the same way we treat Hank Greenberg...

...except we call him a kike instead of a coon.

Whenever we play exhibitions with the Yankees...

...we call Joe DiMaggio "The Wop."

All right? They laugh about it.

And it's forgotten when the game's over.

JACKIE: I don't care if they like me.

I didn't come here to make friends.

I don't even care if they respect me. I know who I am.

Got enough respect for myself.

But I do not want them to beat me.

They're never gonna beat you.

They came close today.

I'm going in that Phillies dugout tomorrow...

...and I'm gonna wring Ben Chapman's neck!

[LAUGHING]

Did I say something funny?

When I first told you about Robinson, Harold...

...you were against it.

Now, all of the sudden you're worried about him.

Wonder how that happened.

Why, any decent-minded person would-- Sympathy, Harold.

It's a Greek word. It means "to suffer."

"I sympathize with you" means "I suffer with you."

That Philadelphia manager is, uh...

[CHUCKLES]

He's doing me a service.

A service? Yes.

He's creating sympathy on Jackie's behalf.

"Philadelphia" is Greek.

Means "brotherly love."

[BUZZER BUZZES]

JANE [OVER INTERCOM]: Bob Bragan to see you, Mr. Rickey.

What in Satan's fire does he want?

All right, send him in.

What do you want, Bragan?

Uh, Mr. Rickey, I, uh...

I would like, um... What do you want?

I'd like to not be traded, sir.

If it's not too late.

What about Robinson?

The world's changing.

I guess I can live with the change.

I mean, I can't believe it. I speak my mind, and they trade me.

[COUNTRY MUSIC PLAYING OVER SPEAKERS]

This ain't the America I know.

Uh-uh. Home of the free, land of the brave? You hear me?

Where they sending you, Hig?

Pittsburgh.

For cash and some Italian outfielder named Gionfriddo.

Pittsburgh. I mean...

Good luck, boys. You gonna need it.

Pittsburgh!

[SIGHS]

Branch, it's Herb.

RICKY [OVER PHONE]: Herb. What can I do for you?

Branch, how long have we known each other?

Oh, 20 years, maybe more.

That's right. Been over some solid road together.

So, urn, you can trust me when I tell you Brooklyn's due here tomorrow...

...but you cannot bring that nigger down here...

[OVER PHONE] ...with the rest of your team.

Why's that, Herb?

His name is Jackie Robinson, by the way.

Yeah, Branch, I understand he's got a name...

...but we're just not ready for that sort of thing here in Philadelphia.

We're not gonna be able to take the field against your team if that boy's in uniform.

Well, what you do with your team is your decision, Herb.

But my team's gonna be in Philadelphia tomorrow...

[OVER PHONE] ...with Robinson.

And if we have to claim the game as a forfeit, so be it.

That's 9-0...

[OVER PHONE] ...in case you forgot.

You've had a hell of a hair across your ass over this for a long time.

I'd like to know what it is you're trying to prove.

You think God likes baseball, Herb?

What--? What the hell is that supposed to mean?

It means someday you're gonna meet God...

...and when he inquires as why you didn't take the field...

...against Robinson in Philadelphia...

...and you answer that it's because he was a Negro...

...it may not be a sufficient reply!


Okay, guys, we got 20 minutes to check in and get to Shibe, so chop-chop!

MAN: Hey!

Hey. Out.

And get that bus out of here.

Oh, no, no, no, we have reservations. We're the Dodgers.

No, your team is not welcome here. Not while you have ball club Negroes with you.

You just mean that Robinson can't stay, right?

No, I mean your entire team has been refused.

We've been staying here for 10 years. And you can stay away that long too.

Hold on. Now, wait, we should talk about this.

Who put you up to this? Is it the Phillies?

They're not gonna let us stay here, fellas.

They don't want us here.

Yeah, well maybe 42's got enough friends in town we can bunk up.

MAN: It's the rule we're gonna go with. SUKEFORTH : We've got reservations.

Why is that? MAN: That is the rule!

What's that supposed to mean?

It's not supposed to mean a thing.

When you can't get in hotels, you got people's houses you stay at.

Ain't that right?

What?

What do you want from me, Walker?

An apOIOQY-

You want an apology? For what?

For places like this?

No. For turning this season into a damn sideshow.

Hey, fellas. I'm a ballplayer, all right?

I'm here to play ball! So am I.

I'm hereto win.

We want to win. We on the same page?

Well, how we supposed to win sleeping on a bus?

Maybe it'll do you some good the way you been swinging the bat.

Hey, you watch your mouth! Hey, you watch your hand.

Don't you ever talk to me like that again! Watch your hand!

You hear me? Watch yourself!

You spit on me now? If I spit on you, it'd be an improvement.

That's it. You go home, all right? All right, that's enough!

Hey, hey! Get used to it, fellas. This how it's gonna be.

We show up, the circus is in town!

I'm not going anywhere!

I'm right here!

"There is a great lynch mob among us.

They go unhooded and work without a rope."

That's you, not me.

"We must remember that all this country's enemies...

...are not beyond the frontiers of our homeland."

A Jew probably wrote that.

I don't care who wrote it. It's in the damn papers!

[SIGHS]

This is not good, Ben.

Makes the entire Phillies organization look racist.

You gotta do something about it.

Me? Look, I'm defending baseball.

It's time for you to step up and defend the Phillies.

This started on the field, it's gonna end on the field, and we're done talking about it.

All right.

Hey, fellas. Hey.

Excuse me. Hi. Jackie.

Uh, Wendell, um...

A request came in.

Uh, Ben Chapman, he's the, uh, manager for the Phillies. You knew that.

Uh, he'd like his photo taken with you.

You been drinking, Harold?

[CHUCKLING]

No. No. I wish.

No, Mr. Rickey, uh, he thinks it's a good idea.

He says it's gonna be in every sports page across the country.

An example that even the most hardened man can change.

Chapman hasn't changed. He's just trying to save face.

Mr. Rickey says it doesn't matter if he's changed.

As long as it looks like he's changed.

Jackie, you've seen the questions come in slow.

Now, just see this photo come in even slower.

Chapman said he'd come down here. Or, uh, he could meet you in the runway.

No.

On the field.

Where everyone can see.

Did World War Ill break out? Look at all of y'all.

They even dug you up, Baum. This must be important.

Listen, I want to say something, uh...

Jackie's been accepted into baseball...

...and the Philadelphia organization wish him all the luck that we can.

I just hope that our trial of fire has helped him along.

MAN 1: How about a picture? You shake hands. Bury the hatchet.

You wanna bury the hatchet?

Sure.

We'll use a bat.

That way we don't have to touch skin.

All right. MAN 2: Come on, fellas.

All right, do it. MAN 3: That's good. Right here.

MAN 4: One more. This way, Ben.

BARBER: It's Ostermueller on the mound.

Ostermueller, deliberate.

What I mean to say is, he's one of the slowest working pitchers in the game.

Here's the windup. And...

Oh, my! He hit Jackie Robinson right in the head. And Jackie is down!

What are you doing out there, Ostermueller?

Hey!

Ostermueller, you creep! You gotta bat too! Don't you forget it!

Hey, I'm ready, you wop bastard!

Oh, yeah? "Wop bastard"? It's coming between your eyes.

I'm gonna come like a kamikaze! He doesn't belong here!

Get off! Knock it off!

[ALL SHOUTING]

I'll send you back to Schmeling and Goering...

...and the rest of your dead Kraut buddies!

MAN 1: You want some, Piner?

MAN 2: He doesn't belong here!

They're just ignorant.

Hmm?

If they knew you, they would be ashamed.

What can I do for you, Pee Wee?

Well, Mr. Rickey, it's like this.

The series in Cincinnati next week?

Yes. Important road trip.

We're only three games out of first. Yes, sir.

Now, you know I'm from Kentucky.

Then Cincinnati will nearly be a home game for you.

Well...

...I got this letter.

Apparently, some people aren't too happy about me playing with Robinson.

Huh?

"Nigger lover.

Watch yourself.

We'll get you, carpetbagger."

[CHUCKLES]

Pretty typical stuff.

Well, it's not typical to me, sir.

[CHUCKLES]

How many of those letters have you gotten, Pee Wee?

Just the one. Ain't that enough?

What are those?

Well, I'll tell you what they aren't.

They aren't letters from the Jackie Robinson fan club.

"Get out of baseball or your baby boy will die."

"Quit baseball or your nigger wife..."

"Get out of the game or be killed."

Does Jackie know?

Well, of course he does.

And the FBI.

They're taking a threat in Cincinnati pretty seriously.

So excuse me if I don't get too upset about you getting called a carpetbagger.

You should be proud.

Well, I'd just like to play ball, sir. That's all.

Oh, I understand.

I bet Jackie just wants to play ball.

I bet he wishes he wasn't leading the League in hit by pitch.

I bet he wishes people didn't want to kill him.

The world's not so simple anymore.

Guess it never was.

We just, uh...

Baseball ignored it, now we can't.

Yes, sir.

[CROWD CHEERING]

BARBER: No hits, no runs for the Dodgers. The Reds are coming to bat.

How many times do you think Pee Wee's gonna score?

Well, I don't know, son.

I remember when I was a kid, I saw Honus Wagner play, scored three times that day.

We'll just have to wait and see. Wow, that would be great.

[CROWD BOOING]

We don't want you here!

Hey! Hey, Nigger boy!

Get the hell out of Cincinnati!

We don't want you here!

Go back to Brooklyn!

MAN 1: You the batboy, sambo?

MAN 2: Hey, nigger! I'm talking to you!

Get the hell out of Cincinnati! We don't want you here, boy!

Nigger!

We don't want you here!

Cincinnati fans expressing their displeasure as the Dodgers take the field.

Jackie Robinson at first. "The Brat" Eddie Stanky at second.

Spider Jorgensen at third. And the captain, Pee Wee Reese, at short.

Fans, ask any man and they'll tell you, the Gillette Superspeed razor is a honey.

Maybe the sweetest shaving razor you'll ever use.

Look sharp, feel sharp, be sharp.

MAN 3: We don't want no niggers here!

They can say all they want. We're just here to play ball.

MAN 4: Get him off the field!

It's just a bunch of crackpots still fighting the Civil War.

Well, we'd have won that son of a gun if the cornstalks would have held out.

We just ran out of ammunition.

Better luck next time, Pee Wee.

Ain't gonna be a next time, Jackie.

MAN 5: Hey, Reese! Carpetbagger!

All we got's right here. Right now. You know what I mean?

Thank you, Jackie.

What are you thanking me for?

I got family up there from Louisville.

I need them to know.

I need them to know who I am.

Hey, number 1!

You playing ball or socializing?

[SCOFFS]

Playing ball, ump.

UMPIRE: Play ball! MAN 6: Don't let them get to you!

Playing ball.

Maybe tomorrow we'll all wear 42. That way they won't tell us apart.

MAN 7: Come on, Jackie!

[CHATTERING]

Let me ask you something, Jackie.

How come you never shower until everybody else is done?

What are you, shy?

I don't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable.

We're a team. On a hot streak.

Come on, half those wins were on account of you.

You're the bravest guy I ever saw.

You're leading us, you're afraid to take a shower? Heh.

Come on, take a shower with me, Jackie.

I didn't mean it like...

That came out wrong. I was not saying just take a shower with me.

I was saying, why don't we all go and take a shower.

Like, why--? Heh.

As a team, why don't we shower together.

Heh. Branca? Yeah.

Stop. Yeah.

I'm stopping-


We're in the last of a four-game series with the Cardinals.

These two teams are in a dogfight for first. Top of the 11th now, all tied up at 2.

For those of you just tuning in, how did we get here?

Well, it's been double trouble...

...as Robinson knocked in Stanky with a double in the 3rd.

MAN 1: Shoot two! Shoot two!

BARBER: And Dixie Walker did the same with a double in the 8th.

[CROWD CHEERING]

Second base! Second base!

BARBER: But it wasn't enough...

...as the Cardinals tied it up with two of their own in the 9th.

This game is crucial to the Red Birds.

They are five games out...

...with the Dodgers not having relinquished first place since June 30th.

They call him "Country."

Slaughter's hitless in four trips. "Fireman" Casey in his second inning of relief.

This game is just as tight as a new pair of shoes on a rainy day.

Casey goes into his windup.

Slaughter hits a hard ground ball right at Reese, who fires it over to Jack at first.

[JACKIE GROAN S]

BARBER: Oh, my!

Robinson is down. Slaughter spiked him high up on the leg and he is down.

MAN 2: Goddamn it! You knew what you were doing! You spiked my guy!

Get up, Jackie.

Get him up, boys, get him up.

Stay off it. Team doc will be out.

Hugh, next guy up, you hit him right in the head. You clean his clock.

No. Get me up. MAN 3: No, lay down, man. You're staying.

No. Get me up!

Easy, kid.

[CROWD CHEERING]

Just get him out.

[PANTING]

Just get him out.

Understand?

Game's too important.

Just get him out.

Go play ball.

You a tough man, Jackie. STANKY: Let's get him out.

Jackie, what are saying? He spiked you on purpose?

[JACKIE GROANING]

You saw the play.

My foot was on the inside of the bag, he was out, but he kept coming.

It was on purpose? Slaughter said it was an accident.

What are you asking me for then?

Are you calling Slaughter a liar? MAN: Is he a liar?

Am I calling him a liar? What are you gonna write?

Get out of here! Get out! Come on, Rickey, let him finish the story!

RICKEY: Go on, let me talk to my first baseman.

Is he a liar, Jackie? Go!

All right, all right. Getting stitched up, for Pete's sake.

Just trying to do ourjob, Rickey.

RICKEY: Looks good, Babe. BABE: Thank you, sir.

Sticking up for himself is something you'd expect of any man.

Some find it galling in a Negro.

[SIGHS]

You know what I saw this morning?

I was passing a sandlot, little white boy was up at bat.

[CHUCKLES]

You know what he was doing?

Sitting on a fastball?

He was pretending he was you.

Rubbing dirt on his hands.

Swinging with his arms outstretched, like you do.

Little white boy pretending he is a black man.

[SIGHS]

Why'd you do this, Mr. Rickey?

[RICKEY SIGHS]

We had a victory over fascism in Germany.

It's time we had a victory over racism at home.

No.

Why?

Why'd you do it?

Come on.

Tell me.

I love this game.

I love baseball.

Given my whole life to it.

Forty-odd years ago, I was a player-coach at Ohio Wesleyan University.

We had a Negro catcher. Best hitter on the team.

Charlie Thomas. Fine young man.

I saw him laid low, broken, because of the color of his skin.

And I didn't do enough to help.

Told myself I did, but I didn't.

There was something unfair at the heart of the game I loved.

And I ignored it.

But a time came...

...when I could no longer do that.

You...

You let me love baseball again.

Thank you.

[CLEARS THROAT]

JACKIE: Last long road trip of the year.

And two long faces, huh?

Try not to lunge at the plate.

You serious?

That's why they're throwing the fastballs inside.

Fight those inside fastballs off...

...sooner or later they won't be able to help but throw a curve.

And what'll happen then, coach?

[IMITATES BALL BEING HIT]

[IMITATES CROWD'S CHEER]

[BOTH CHUCKLE]

Is that right? Mm-hm.

Well, you know, if we win enough of these next games...

...we bring home the pennant.

You bring yourself home.

That'll be plenty.

You're in my heart.

SMITH: Since the 4th of July, the Brooklyn Dodgers have gone on a hot streak...

...holding off all challengers.

During that time and during this season...

...I have watched Jackie Robinson submerge himself...

...to serve something greater.

And I don't mean the Brooklyn Dodgers, though he's doing that too.

The man flat-out has guts.

A stand-up force of nature, he's complicated everything but himself.

He's changing the world and refusing to let it change him.

But baseball isn't tennis.

It takes a team.

Joining together was a start.

Staying together, a big step forward.

But working together is how you win.

Out!

[GROANS]

Jackie, you son of a gun, I could kiss you!

Nice catch.

Yours or mine? Heh.

SMITH: Down the stretch on the last long road trip of the year...

...Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers are doing exactly that.

They're holding off the Cardinals and streaking towards the pennant.

Boss, we did it.

We did it, we swept Cincinnati!

RICKEY [OVER PHONE]: Great, Harold.

One more win could do it.

Who's pitching tomorrow for the Pirates?

Ostermueller.

BARBER: Fritz Ostermueller on the mound.

He's 12-8 on the season.

A big game today in Pittsburgh.

A win and the Dodgers will have clinched the National League pennant...

...Yankees having already clinched in the American League.

There's bad blood here...

...as Ostermueller beaned Robinson in the head earlier in the season...

...prompting quite a rhubarb at the time.

Teams have gone their separate ways since...

...with Ostermueller left standing in the Dodgers' way...

...as they chase the pennant that eluded them last year.

Come on, Jackie, let's go!

BARBER: Here comes the pitch.

And Robinson takes outside. Ball one.

Come on, Fritz, let's get this boy! You don't belong here.

And you never will.

BARBER: Robinson crowding the plate.

Jack hasn't backed down to a pitcher all season.

MAN: There you go, Jackie!

You got nothing for him, Ostermueller! But he's got something for you!

BARBER: Ostermueller winds and throws.

Low and away, ball two.

Fritz seems to be pitching around Jackie...

...or as they say in the trade, trying to get him to chase.

Robinson's having a fine rookie standard...

...batting .301 with 31 doubles and 10 home runs.

He has stolen 27 bases this season and has yet to be thrown out attempting.

[OSTERMUELLER GRUNTS]

Needless to say, Ostermueller being careful with him.

BARBER: [OVER RADIO] It's 3-0 now.

Robinson patient, waiting for something he can swing on.

Give me something.

Give me something I can hit.

You want it?

What are you afraid of?

What are you afraid of?

BARBER: Ostermueller looking in for the sign.

Be careful what you ask for, boy.

BARBER: And here comes the pitch.

[CROWD CHEERING]

Oh, and that's a deep fly ball to left.

Kiner on his horse, I don't think he'll get there.

Back, back, back, and...

Oh, ho, ho, doctor!

Robinson got his pitch!

It's a home run.

[CHEERING]

And barring a miracle comeback...

...the Dodgers are going to the World Series!

WOMAN: Yes!

[ALL CHEERING]

He did it, he did it!

[CROWD CHEERING]

Pittsburgh!

Yes!

Way to go, Jackie!

BARBER: Jack in his home run trot now, and the home crowd here at Forbes...

...recognizing something special when they see it.

All the same, I can practically hear the roar...

...from the heart of Flatbush back in Brooklyn.


WOMAN: Jackie, yeah, yeah!

Robinson rounds third...

...headed for home...

...sweet home.