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Robinson cleared a path, but fewer are following his lead

Published 04/15/2007, The Washington Post

The baseball fields in black neighborhoods crackled when I was a kid, not only in Chicago, where I grew up, but also in Detroit and Cleveland and Compton, where we would visit relatives. On driving trips, we'd take along a bat and a glove because chances were we would find a field and play baseball. The talk in the barber shop wasn't of Wilt and Russell nearly as much as it was of Aaron and Mays. The great baseball players weren't close to being rich, not in the 1960s and '70s, and the black ones lived in black neighborhoods in segregated times, sometimes renting a room from a neighbor with a big house, and they would play catch with kids on off-days.

Word count: 1510

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