Tuesday, July 21, 2015

When We Weren't so PC

I always feel a certain sense of astonishment when I look at vintage sports collectibles.

And I'm not talking about holding something that is decades old or the pure historical nature an object may possess - although, there's a bit of that.

It's just that I find it weird how different those times were.

For instance, check out the circa 1940's Brooklyn Dodger pennant above that is currently for sale at Hunt Auctions (auction link here).  It features an old Dodger mascot who I am sure most of you have heard of and seen.  It is of the Dodger "Bum" created originally by newspaper editorial cartoonist Willard Mullin and popularized further by the clown Emmett Kelly in Brooklyn. 

From what I understand, Brooklynites often referred to the Dodger team/players as "their bums" - not because they were despised, but because they had became so loved.  Players were just guys from the neighborhood, so fans took them on as one of their own.  And as you know, when you become family you have to endure a certain amount of ribbing.  Over time the moniker became a cultural icon for the era and city.

Today, a nickname like the "Bums" would receive scorn from every corner of the country - much like what the Redskins football club (and to a lesser extant the Cleveland Indians Chief Wahoo) faces today.  There would be protest and marches.  Editorials would scream about the perceived lack of sensitivity.  And they'd be right. 

I think it's a good thing for people to be involved and to care as much as they seem to.  It's just that I find it amazing.  We had gone from a society that openly, and quite vocally, threw around disparaging remarks like it was going out of style to a world that can be just as vociferous when playing the part of PC police.   

Sometimes I think it's just more of the same... But this time the shoe is on the other foot.  And maybe that's the crux. 

I dunno. 

Fortunately, the Dodgers old nickname is not as controversial, if at all, compared to what Washington or Cleveland fans have to go through.  It would be tough being a fan/collector of either of those clubs.

BTW, this same Hunt Auction includes a very cool 1980 game jersey of Dodger Mickey Hatcher.  See pic below.  It includes an 1980 Dodger Stadium All-Star Game patch.  Check that auction out here.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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