The historical significance of Magic Johnson’s latest feat was lost on a few Dodgers, but not Jerry Hairston Jr.
To Hairston, whose grandfather Sam became the first black player to play for the Chicago White Sox in 1951, it’s special to play for the league’s first black (part-)owner in Johnson.
“I think Jackie Robinson would be very proud today,” Hairston said.
A self-described “history buff” –as well as a third-generation major-leaguer — Hairston sees the civil rights movement through a unique lens.
Lakers owner Jerry Buss today joined his star player, Kobe Bryant, by chiming in on Magic Johnson’s purchase of the Dodgers:
“Magic Johnson is probably the most beloved sports figure in Los Angeles history,” Buss said in a statement. “In addition to being a phenomenal success on the court in leading the Lakers to five NBA Championships, he has been a success in everything else he’s become involved with, most notably his spectacular business career and also his educationa
campaign on behalf of HIV awareness. I’d like to congratulate Magic and his partners on their acquisition of the Dodgers and wish them the best of luck.”
On a day when no one wearing a Dodger uniform could avoid a question about the change in ownership, Tommy Lasorda was no exception.
Surrounded by reporters outside the team’s spring training facility in Glendale, Arizona, today, Lasorda addressed his future with the club as a “special advisor” to the owner, as well as his relationship with Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten, two members of the incoming ownership group.