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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. isn’t just a baseball player who shares the same name and playing style as Jackie Robinson. He’s also a big movie buff.
“I had a lot of high expectations for it because I’m a big Jackie Robinson fan,” Bradley Jr. told Boston’s WEEI 93.7 FM. “I kind of wanted to see the beginning of his career, the middle, and towards the end. But for what it was worth and the amount of time they had for it I felt like they did a pretty good job. I felt like there were a lot of holes that could have been filled in in between.”
Bradley Jr. said the movie wasn’t a huge eyeopener, but only because he’d known the Jackie Robinson story for as long as he could remember. Some news reports suggested he was named after Jackie Robinson, but he was actually named after the entertainer Jackie Wilson. Bradley Jr. was selected 40th overall by the Red Sox in the MLB supplemental draft. Before making the big league club, he started off last season in Class A ball with the Lowell Spinners. He helped lead South Carolina to the College World Series title in 2010.
Bradley Jr. said he’s aware of the fact that the numbers of African Americans are decreasing in Major League Baseball.
“It’s definitely decreasing now. You never really know why unless you look into it. I guess I don’t really understand it. But there’s always chances for change and hopefully it’ll go back up.”
Bradley Jr., 23, has shown an awareness of how he perceives his performance during the course of his career could impact involvement of youth involvement in the game.
“If that happens then that’s great. Then that means those kids from those areas have looked up to you. And maybe you were a determining factor that made them keep pushing forward. [Baseball could be] something that they liked but it became something they loved just because somebody they grew up watching is doing well and succeeding.”