ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – For these Metro high school students, today was a special mid-day matinee.
‘My words are taken right now but if I could meet him that would be awesome,’ says Ronise Beasley a sophomore at Metro High.
‘What would you say?’ asks Patrick Clark.
‘How did you do it?’ answers Beasley
How he did it is the story, in the new movie 42.
Today the St. Louis Cardinals invited 250 students from Metro High School to see what the Jackie Robinson story is all about.
‘The young people viewing this today and across the country are several generations removed from Jackie’s story so to have them reminded of the triumph and the change that occurred because of what he accomplished is very important,’ says Keith Brooks the Director of Cardinals Care, the ballclub`s charitable arm.
Which is why baseball commissioner Bud Selig is showing the movie in major league cities.
He`s quoted as saying he wants young people to understand, ‘A watershed moment in American history and the civil rights movement.’
‘It kind of hits home cause you realize that if I was born back then because of my skin color, I would have faced that,’ says Ronnel Turner a senior and first baseman for the Metro baseball team. ‘It was kind of hard watching and you kind of get a little angry seeing how people were treated back then.’
‘It’s a good story because even though we are a mixed school we really don’t have that many African-American players on our team,’ says teammate Andrew Morris. ‘It’s a mostly white team even though we have quite a lot of black students at our school.’
‘Wow, it really is just wow,’ says Beasley. ‘Because, I have Caucasian friends and I’m able to chill with them at all times and to think that Jackie Robinson had to dodge them in order for him to keep succeeding is just crazy.’
The Cardinals and MLB will hold another screening of the film 42 next week in O’Fallon, Illinois.
Chances are it will be a movie, and moment in time they won’t forget.