Niagara Gazette

Opinion

April 14, 2013

GLYNN: Robinson movie stirs memories of 'The Barber'

Niagara Gazette — You’ll probably hear from someone that “42,” the story of the legendary Jackie Robinson, is a movie not to be missed. What you may not know, however, is the Niagara Falls connection.

Robinson, who broke the barrier as the first black player in Major League Baseball, and Sal ‘The Barber’ Maglie, a native of the Cataract City, had a stormy on-the-field relationship that erupted in the early 1950s. For starters, the pair couldn’t stand to be in the same stadium, let alone the 60 feet between home plate and the pitcher’s mound.

The high-profile feud crystalized in 1951 when Robinson played second base with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Maglie pitched for the New York Giants. The teams were arch-rivals, drawing record crowds to Ebbets Field in Brooklyn or the Polo Grounds in Manhattan. Neither Maglie nor the Giants are mentioned in the film script. (That’s like writing a history of Notre Dame football without any reference to Knute Rockne or the famous Four Horsemen.)  

What’s missing from this new movie is the dramatic episode that unraveled April 30, 1951. When Robinson stepped up to bat in the third inning, Maglie threw a beanball right at his head. A second time, he fired the same kind of pitch. Robinson had had enough. On the next swing, he bunted down the first base line, but surprisingly didn’t seem to be in a hurry. What he really wanted was for Maglie to cover first base, so he could nail him from behind as he fielded the ball. 

As Maglie neared the base, the trim and muscular 220-pound Robinson unleashed a burst of speed and rammed the ‘Barber’ from behind, sending him sprawling in the infield. News reports of that nasty scene note that Maglie then went after Robinson but he was restrained as the two exchanged bitter remarks.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • NIA Smith, Doug and Polly LETTERS FROM THE ISLAND: Home alone on the Island Yeah, you know who I mean. Hard to start this project without you but deadline looms and you're still bein' Nana, the role you were born to play. I know, I know, if you'd known grandchildren were this much fun, you'd have had them first.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Hamilton, Ken mug HAMILTON: The Bills stadium and the proverbs We are what we are because of the way that we think, and we got the nothingness that have as a result of it.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • GUEST VIEW: A closer look at Spirit Airline's DOT numbers This last week, there were articles published highlighting that Spirit Airlines has the highest DOT customer complaint rate among US airlines.

    April 18, 2014

  • NIA DeLuca, Michele mug DELUCA: Say it ain't so, Joe I had just parked my car in front of the Gazette offices on Niagara Street last week Thursday when a man approached me and stood by my door.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Glynn, Don mug GLYNN: Tourism operators ready for new season Niagara area hospitality industry people will mark National Tourism Week, May 3 to May 11, with special events focusing on the assets that shape the Cataract City as a major destination.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Bradberry, Bill mug BRADBERRY: Neither long ago, nor far away ... If you did not catch documentary filmmaker Ken Burns' latest masterpiece, "The Address" on PBS last night, it will be well worth your time to look for the re-run, or to find it online as soon as possible.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Editorial: Let's go Buffalo! It could be a whole lot of sweet nothings being whispered in our collective ears, but talk about a Buffalo Bills stadium in Niagara Falls, has us chanting "Let's Go Buffalo." Already there are doubters all over town, who just don't want to get their hopes up. We're hearing people say they're reminded of the time those developers of the Mall of America flirted with the Falls when they were shopping for a location for their super mall. They eventually chose another city, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    April 16, 2014

  • NIA Confer, Bob Mug CONFER: Don't go soft on teenage criminals New York is one of two states â€" North Carolina being the other â€" that automatically prosecute 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in misdemeanor and felony cases. Other states do so only on a conditional basis at the whim of the presiding judge.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • NIA Higgs, Norma mug HIGGS: Gothic architecture -- a fitting structure for church services Before we get involved in the new church building, we need to know what happened to the former structure on First Street which was utilized for St. Peter's Church services for 30 years until 1880 when the present stone church was ready for use.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • GUEST VIEW: NTCC's 'regional approach' aids all local tourism

    April 14, 2014

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page