In August 1921, KDKA, a Pittsburgh radio station, broadcast the first professional baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Philadelphia Phillies. That broadcast set the stage for the role of sports in America to change dramatically from newspaper-reported, local entertainment, to a national economic force.
Dye & Eskin, Inc. is a hotbed of sports enthusiasts with all our employees being active participants. Starting with Rick Eskin, the Dye and Eskin “team” actively participates in basketball, competitive powerlifting, tennis, hiking, and is a passionate supporter of local professional and college sports franchises.
Our interest, however, goes deeper into the ways in which sports break down social barriers, stereotypes, and prejudices. Sports present the perfect opportunity for team building and conflict resolution that helps bring positive change to society. We did some research going back to 1936. The goal was to find defining moments where sports impacted history in highly significant and positive ways.
Here are a few from the very long list we compiled:
1936 – Jesse Owens, a Black Olympic gold medalist, who overcame Hitler’s notion of a superior race
1947 – Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball
1960’s and 70’s – John Wooden whose skill and dedication lead UCLA men’s basketball to 10 consecutive NCAA titles
1991 – Magic Johnson, a premier basketball hero who courageously revealed an HIV diagnosis
2017 – UCONN Women’s basketball accomplishing a 111-game winning streak under a male coach who never quit on the opportunities for women
2022 – Aaron Judge, a highly skilled but quiet and humble player who broke a 61-year-old major league record
We have other favorites on our achievement list: Tennis hero Roger Federer, the height of skill and civility; pro golfer Tiger Woods, the epitome of commitment and persistence; and Olympian Michael Phelps, a survivor and example for others suffering mental health challenges.
Sports have the power to inspire and unite people in a way that little else does. Maybe most importantly, sports speak to young people in a language they understand.
Benita Fitzgerald Moseley says it eloquently in this quote from July 11, 2022, “There’s an athlete within all of us, and what sports teaches us is that there’s also a leader, strategist, teammate, competitor and more just waiting to be unleashed.”