NEARLY 46 YEARS AFTER HIS HALL OF FAME INDUCTION, JACKIE ROBINSON received a new plaque — a Hall of Fame rarity — with new details about the full impact he had on both baseball and the country as the first black major league player.
His color is something the late Brooklyn Dodger asked to be withheld when he was inducted, preferring the focus to stay on his game. However, his 86-year-old wife, Rachel Robinson, feels the time has come to acknowledge Robinson’s deeper influences, according to the AP. She contacted the Hall of Fame to instigate the change.
“I think he would understand now that we need to go beyond that and we need to think in terms of social change in America,” Robinson said at the unveiling ceremony. “He would want a part in that. I don’t think he would object.”
The new inscription names his achievements on the field, and concludes with, “Displayed tremendous courage and poise in 1947 when he integrated the modern major leagues in the face of intense adversity.”
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WHEN VETERAN WINEMAKER JAMES GOSPER moved to Park Slope from distant Green Point, Australia — “postcard country,” he calls it — his friends thought he was loony. Who would trade idyllic country life for the chaos of New York? But Gosper was not only in search of adventure, he had a mission: as newly christened ‘brand ambassador,’ he was to spread word of Green Point Wines, already locally available, to Brooklyn and beyond.
It was natural that Gosper would find himself in the other Greenpoint, in north Brooklyn, of which he had heard many things, among them that it was great for Polish sausage, a mecca for industrial warehouse space and the poster child for years of environmental disregard. The last point struck a chord with Gosper.
“In July 2007, I found myself at McCarren Pool Greenpoint at a Sonic Youth concert,” says Gosper. “What a magic discovery — my sister ‘namesake’ neighborhood was everything I had been told, but so much more. What diversity. What urban beauty. What a cool neighborhood.” The more he learned about the environmental degradation in Greenpoint, the more he wanted to be involved in its resurrection. He had been part of a similar project in Australia, where along the Yarra River on the Green Point property, they planted more than 20,000 trees to return the land to its natural state after generations of neglect by farmers.
Due to Gosper’s diligence, Green Point Wines is now working closely with Open Space Alliance of North Brooklyn (OSA), a nonprofit organization responsible for the preservation and renovation of Brooklyn parklands and open spaces. The partnership will provide funding for many environmental regeneration projects, including tree planting and the expansion of waterside parks. The winery has offered profits from every glass of Green Point wine sold at Summerscreen and the Wilco Benefit to OSA. The winery is also sponsoring the McCarren Park Pool Film Series this summer.
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DR. JONATHAN BABCOCK, DIRECTOR OF CHOIRS within the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, is sending his award-winning choir to China, where they will participate in “The Choral Tribute to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.” The 35-person choir, comprised of students and alumni from across the city, with unite with 11 college and community choruses from across North America for the 10-day tour. The Brooklyn College Choir will perform in concerts at the Great Wall of China (June 30), the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing (July 3) and the Oriental Arts Centre in Shanghai (July 6)
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IN OTHER CHORAL NEWS, BROOKLYN YOUTH CHORUS, led by Exec utive Director GAIL STONE, will travel to Graz, Austria, on July 6 to compete in the prestigious World Choir Games. Over 441 choirs from 93 countries will participate in the event, which is cited as the largest worldwide choir competition. Forty-nine BYC choristers ages 12 to 17 will travel to the UNESCO world cultural heritage site. En route to Graz, the chorus will stop in Vienna for sightseeing, a concert at the University of Vienna and a special appearance before the assistant mayor of Vienna.