The color barrier was broken in my small home town when a beloved and heroic professional baseball player who was African American moved to the area. Had the gentleman not been a sports sensation, I'm not sure what kind of a welcome he and his family would have had in the late 1950's where nobody else of color was living at the time. His wife participated in community affairs and his children attended my school. The daughter who was my classmate turned out to be just like the rest of us. No better, no worse, just a normal child. Had it not been for baseball, this family and its impact on our community would have been far different. The community has grown in so many ways since that time and the population consists of a rainbow of colors and nationalities, thanks in part to the groundbreaking work of one brave baseball family and the opportunity they gave us to get to know them eventually as everyday citizens rather than as something different or larger than life. And for this reason, I love the sport.