It’s not often that the essence of a man, especially a complicated man, can be summed up in one sentence. But then again, there haven’t been many people like Jackie Robinson. “A life is not important,” he said, “except in the impact it has on other lives.”
By that standard, few people — and no athlete — this century has impacted more lives. Robinson lit the torch and passed it on to several generations of African-American athletes. While the Brooklyn Dodgers infielder didn’t make a nation color blind, he at least made it more color friendly.