The first black baseball player in Boston heard
more insults hurled at him than pitches
his rookie year. Yet, when a kid, a white boy,
wanted an autograph, Jet was happy to oblige.
When the fans cheered his hits, he basked in the echoes
and when they booed an error or the ball bouncing off his head
he feigned deafness. He was a favorite for young
boys collecting baseball cards and autographs, for
the youngsters who rode the back of a trolley to the
ballpark like it was a piggyback ride on their father.
There was no color lIne. Those boys didn’t see black
or white. They saw only the tomahawk on the chest,
the Indian head on the sleeve and the white B on the blue
background of the baseball cap.