The jersey was so heavy, I couldn't believe people used to wear it playing baseball, let alone on a sizzling hot August afternoon. Although, simultaneously, I had no trouble imagining a fleet-footed, determined Jackie Robinson stealing home in a cloud of dust.
The Black History and Culture Showcase (BHCS) features panel discussions, documentaries and workshops, but on the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's integrating Major League Baseball the sports exhibit leans heavily toward No. 42.
This free event will take place on April 15-16 -- the 15th, when Robinson made his major league debut, has been recognized by MLB as Jackie Robinson Day -- from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.
Unlike other events or museums, which display Robinson's impact on sports and American culture, the BHCS is like a living, breathing exhibit. Not only do you get the engrossing sports memorabilia, but you also get to hear sports legends like former Phillie Bill White and U.S. Olympian Herb Douglas talk about their experience of playing with Jackie and knowing him off the field.
Moments like these are ones I cherish -- gleaning memories, feelings and experiences from incomparable sports figures with unparalleled wisdom. I encourage you to be one of the expected 20,000 people who will walk through the door of the convention center Easter weekend to rub elbows with these legends of their field.
Most of all, take time out to appreciate the impact and legacy of No. 42, who not only stole home, but also stole the hearts and minds of many Americans as a national icon.
For more, see www.blackhistoryshowcase.org.