A Friend Like Pee Wee Reese

Willie Morris says that gestures often speak more eloquently than words.

In his first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play major league baseball, faced venom nearly everywhere he traveled -- fastballs were aimed at his head, the bases often had spikes in them to hurt him, the opposing dugouts and the crowds yelled demeaning words at him. During one game in Boston, the taunts and racial slurs seemed to reach a peak.

In the midst of this, another Dodger, a Southern white player named Pee Wee Reese, called for a time out. He walked from his position at shortstop toward Robinson at second base, put his arm around Robinson's shoulder, and stood there with him for what seemed like a very long time. This gesture spoke is ways that words cannot describe, "this man is my friend."

We all need a friend like Pee Wee Reese, don't we?