The family of former baseball player Jimmie DeShong has donated footage Mr. DeShong shot at the 1937 Major League Baseball All-Star Game to the Pennsylvania Archives. The 8mm film is about 5 minutes long and some 8 seconds of it shows President Franklin Roosevelt arriving by car on the field at Griffith Stadium then making his way into the stands. He uses holds onto a rail with his left hand and is supported on the right side by an assistant. The rest of the film focuses on the game showing baseball stars of 1937.
Unfortunately political biases invade without any real thought given to the subject at hand. People who despise the former President quickly start pointing out his, in their eyes, failings. Supporters fire back just as quickly with insults. In the report at ESPN, the comments section quickly fills up with back-and-forth attacks between those with praise for President Roosevelt and those who have a less than positive view of the former President. The same happens in comments at YouTube. While I would be one who questions Roosevelt’s achievements, I would prefer to enjoy seeing history by means of this great vintage film. Viewing and relishing the film is not the same as supporting programs of the Roosevelt Administration.
Going in a dangerous direction here. If someone were to offer me memorabilia of some sort that had belonged to Adolph Hitler I would gladly accept it. Because I like anything about Mr. Hitler? No. Because I’m a closet Nazi? Nope. But because the object would be a matter of history and should fascinate even those who harbor nothing but bad thoughts of the man. To stay on this dangerous subject, on my first visit to the Imperial Palace Auto Collection in Las Vegas I was amazed at a disclaimer posted next to a car related to Nazi Germany. I don’t remember the exact wording but it was pointing out that the display of the car was not meant to support or glorify Nazism. Really people. That it needs to be pointed out that you are able to study history without supporting the events that occurred is a truly sad commentary about us. I didn’t think the Bonnie and Clyde car was meant to show support for bank robbers. And no, I’m not equating one with the other.
So having written the above paragraph I expect some to immediately throw out ad hominem attacks for my having even have written it. I would say I am smarter than those people but if that were true I wouldn’t have gone down this road in the first place. The whole point is to take a look at the film from Griffith Stadium in Washington and enjoy it. As a baseball fan, and having traveled the country visiting ballparks, I can enjoy the footage just for that fact alone.
Later on, well then we can get into the relative pluses and minuses of the Roosevelt years.
Think. Then Think Again. Maybe I should have taken that advice to heart and used a less incendiary example.