Bobby Bragan and Jackie Robinson
Among the highlights of Bobby Bragan’s playing career was being a teammate of Jackie Robinson while they were both with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The 2013 movie “42” brought Jackie’s story to a new generation and includes a portrayal of Bobby Bragan by actor Derek Phillips.
Bobby is proud of the friendship he shared with Jackie and BBYF is proud that Bobby’s role in baseball history is chronicled in “42”. “He made me a better man, and I was really grateful to him,” said Bobby in an interview from the early 1990s. “We sat right next to each other at Mr. Rickey’s funeral.”
Bobby Bragan (in an interview with Larry King): Well, Dixie Walker and Eddie Stanky and Ed Head from Louisiana and, surprisingly Carl Furillo from Pennsylvania and I were the five who probably objected more than anyone else. And Mr. Rickey called us in one at a time and said “I don’t care what color a man’s skin is, if he can go farther to his right and left and do things that the other man can’t do, he’s going to play, you understand that?
“If you stay here, are you going to play any differently because he’s here,” asked Rickey. “Or are you going to do your best? So, Mr. Rickey and I became fast friends because of that meeting and leveling with him. Afterward, Jackie Robinson and I became fast friends. Dixie’s the only one who put it in writing. Mr. Rickey accommodated him and sent him to Pittsburgh. It took about four weeks, I’d say, for Jackie to convince all of us – Yankees, southerners or whatever – and we were fighting each other then, to get to sit with him in the dining car.”
“He made me a better man, and I was really grateful to him. We sat right next to each other at Mr. Rickey’s funeral.”
“I like Willie Mays and DiMaggio as two of the greatest I ever saw. But this man was in four World Series – once as a first baseman, once as a second baseman, once as a third baseman and once as a left fielder. And he was the only ballplayer I ever knew that when you got him in a rundown, he wasn’t an automatic out.”