Form and Content

(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

Thank You, Jackie Robinson is a first-person account of a bittersweet relationship between a young Jewish boy and an aging black man. Sammy Greene looks back upon his two-year friendship with Davy and presents it as an important example of the beneficial aspects of racial toleration in personal and social relations.

The story presents Sammy Greene’s recollection of his obsession with his favorite baseball team, the Brooklyn Dodgers, and his favorite player, Jackie Robinson. Whenever his school friends have questions about baseball, they can count on him for answers. His friends’ interest goes no further, however, so Sammy listens to ball games, reads record books, and relives games alone until he meets Davy, the cook who comes to work at his family’s inn. On the basis of their interest in baseball, the two form a close friendship. Davy becomes Sammy’s surrogate father and takes him to games with Henrietta, Davy’s daughter, and Elliot, his son-in-law, at Ebbets Field in New York, as well as in Boston and Pittsburgh.

Davy’s health, however, is not strong, and he suffers a heart attack. Sammy decides to give Davy a baseball signed by the Dodgers, a gift that he believes worthy of their friendship and powerful enough to restore Davy’s health. Sammy gathers enough money to buy a regulation baseball and to travel to Brooklyn. At Ebbets Field, however, he is not able to obtain any signatures, until he sees Jackie Robinson come...

(The entire section is 537 words.)