Skip to main content

Edina man shares stories of friendship with Jackie Robinson

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Just as the Jackie Robinson film "42" opens in theaters, an Edina man has opened up his book of memories to talk about his friendship with the legendary athlete who broke Major League Baseball's color barrier, the Pioneer Press reports.

Ron Rabinovitz, 67, told Bob Sansevere in an email interview that his friendship with Robinson began when he was a 7-year-old boy living in Wisconsin.

Rabinovitz said he and Robinson exchanged letters, and their friendship lasted until Robinson's death in 1972. The letters went on to become the basis of a MLB Network documentary "Letters for Jackie," which first aired in 2011 on the 65th anniversary of Robinson breaking MLB's color barrier.

Film review: "42"

Interview: '42' star Harrison Ford

According to the Pioneer Press, Rabinovitz has also spoken about Robinson at schools and baseball's Hall of Fame, and their friendship is also the basis of play by Oscar-winning short film producer Eric Simonson.

Titled "The Incredible Season of Ronnie Rabinovitz," the play is scheduled to open at the History Theater in St. Paul on Feb. 1, 2014.

Rabinovitz, who also shared some memories of Robinson in his introduction of a preview screening of "42" last week, told Sansevere that he thought the movie was "excellent," and not only because it showed Jackie Robinson's plight, but his wife Rachel Robinson's struggles as well.

Rabinovitz said that Rachel Robinson was "right there by his side," and even though Jackie Robinson was directly taking the verbal abuse during the games. Rabinovitz said, "Can you imagine her sitting in the stands having to listen to all those cat calls and the verbal abuse he took, not to mention the fear she had of he being shot or hurt seriously?"

He also told Sansevere that the biggest lesson he learned from his Brooklyn Dodgers hero was to "never to back down on a cause you truly believe in -- no matter what the odds against you might be."

Rabinovitz talked with WCCO-TV's Mike Binkley as well, and shared some personal photos with Robinson (above). On the left, he is pictured with the baseball legend at Milwaukee County Stadium, and on the right is a photo from when Robinson came to Rabinovitz's 10th birthday party.

"Can you imagine having Jackie Robinson sing 'Happy Birthday to Me?'" Rabinovitz asked Binkley.

See Rabinovitz's interview with Binkley below.

Next Up

police lights

Man arrested after abduction attempt in Bemidji

The incident occurred in Cameron Park on June 25.

betty danger's

Betty Danger's in NE Minneapolis for sale for $4.2 million

The asking price includes the restaurant's ferris wheel, as well as a nearby single-family home.

monkeypox

Minnesota health officials warn monkeypox cases could grow rapidly

The state has so far confirmed only six cases of monkeypox virus.

291734046_502006195017388_4346404407323115820_n

Bodies of woman, three young children recovered from Vadnais Lake

Authorities say the bodies recovered were those of two boys, one girl and their mother.

Pixabay laptop keyboard phone dark

Charges: Duluth man had hundreds of child porn images, videos

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children found nearly 330 images on the man's electronic devices.

hennepin county sheriff water patrol lake minnetonka

Scuba diver found dead in Lake Minnetonka identified as 20-year-old

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said 20-year-old Brady Alan Aune, from Elko New Market, died of freshwater drowning on June 3.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 11.18.35 AM

Felony charges filed after authorities search 'Peacebunny Cottage'

The president of the rabbit rescue non-profit faces multiple animal cruelty charges after over 40 rabbits were found dead inside the organization's barn.

monkeypox virus

Minnesota up to 6 confirmed cases of monkeypox virus

Most people recover at home within 2-4 weeks.

thc edibles

Did Minnesota just accidentally legalize THC?

A Republican lawmaker who voted to approve the new law in May is already talking about rolling it back.

Screen Shot 2022-06-30 at 3.19.42 PM

Gasoline may be cause of sewer explosion on U of M campus

An all-clear was given around 9 p.m. Thursday, with residents in the area allowed to return to their homes.

image

Overwhelming demand for THC products on first day of new law in MN

One shop owner said his Chaska store broke the online sales record before they opened Friday morning.

Related