Over the years, I have featured numerous hand written letters by former Dodger players. Usually they were written to a fan, but once-in-awhile a letter pops up that is even more intimate. Over at Memory Lane Auctions they have a personal letter written by Jackie Robinson to Milwaukee Sentinel reporter Lou Chapman, and it is worth checking out.
Dated February 10th, 1955, it reads:
Dear Lou,As you can see, Jackie is not happy with the press - who is, right? Apparently, there had been some reports regarding a little tussle Jackie had with Braves' 3rd baseman Eddie Matthews. Unfortunately, I do not know what was specifically written, but a little bit of research pointed to a potential incident.
I received your nice letter and am sorry for the misunderstanding. I am sure you can appreciate my position when my wife tells me over the phone there is another rhubarb in Mil. (Milwaukee). It was hard for me to picture anything I had said or done to write one. Then to see a statement by Matthews really made me angry. Not at Eddie, but the report out of your city. Certainly your story should not have created any more of a fuss than what I said.
If I in any way cast any reflection upon you please accept my apology and I hope this will end the discussion. I guess regardless of what I do it will always be the same. As one newspaperman told me its foolish for them to pick the good things one does because they don't make a story.
Best wishes to you and I hope this does not alter our friendship. Sincerely, Jackie Robinson.
In an August game in 1954 Jackie Robinson and Hall of Famer Eddie Matthews ended up in a little scrap. I'm not exactly sure if fist were thrown, but considering the participants that wouldn't be surprising. Jackie certainly wasn't a pushover, and Matthews was as tough as they came. Below is a breakdown of what happened:
Aug 1, 1954 - Dodgers Clem Labine beans Joe Adcock in the 4th. His helmet apparently saves him from a serious injury‚ but he is taken out of the game as a precautionary measure. He will appear in the starting line-up tomorrow. Gene Conley reciprocates by knocking down Jackie Robinson in the 6th and Robinson ends up scrapping with Eddie Mathews. The Braves win 14-6; their 10th win in a row.
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