Meet THE Kid In THE Jackie Robinson Photo (Updated: Make That ‘Six Photos’)
……This is where it would’ve ended, a story-and-a-half as it was. But then last Monday, Eddie Dweck phoned me and in his voice I could hear a touch of the excitement that must have been felt by his 12-year old self. “Keith, there’s another photograph!” Eddie was in last Sunday’s New York Times.
Oh, for crying out loud!
The New York Times Magazine review of the new Jackie Robinson movie “42″ showed another photograph from April 11, 1947. Sure enough, almost dead center,same suit, same sweater, but this time just above and to the left of the beaming Robinson shaking hands with the Dodgers’ acting manager Clyde Sukeforth, there,again, is Eddie Dweck. “I hadn’t seen that one before!” Apparently The Times had never printed it before, either. But there was more. “I found Bobby Salzberg! He’s next to me, in the bow tie!” Seeing Bobby also rattled something loose in Dweck’s memory. “Now I know where my cousin Eddie was. It was Passover. He was at our seats, protecting the food! And protecting the seats, for that matter.” Too bizarre for words, no? The unexpected thrill of getting to see yourself in a new photo in your local newspaper at age 12 in 1947, and then the again unexpected thrill of getting to see yourself in a new photo in your local newspaper at age 78 in 2013 – with both photographs from the same event? It gets stranger still……
“Imagine,” Eddie Dweck muses as he looks at The Photograph, “a kid going to a ballgame dressed in a suit and tie!”
You probably don’t know Eddie Dweck, but you’ve probably seen him before. Because of The Photograph he has a cameo role in history. But history is a defiant and elusive thing. It will tell you that The Photograph Eddie Dweck is ruminating on is one of the iconic images of Jackie Robinson just before he stepped out of that Ebbets Field dugout and into history 66 years ago today.
Except it wasn’t taken on April 15, 1947. And Mr. Dweck will also reveal to you that – albeit in the mildest sense of the word – the photograph was staged.
The kid looking at the camera, the kid Jackie Robinson seems to be looking at? Meet Eddie Dweck.
12-year old Eddie and his pal Bobby Saltzberg from the apartment…
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