Let’s just say this – I knew Shirley Temple before I knew any Dodgers. It wasn’t the same with my kids, but when I was a young kid in the early 1970s, the mighty mite was still a huge presence. Heck, I even was watching the grown Shirley in “Fort Apache” with John Wayne.
Temple was also featured – or the Temple name and impact, at least – in the Betty Bao Lord book, “In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson.”
Shirley Temple Wong sails from China to America with a heart full of dreams. Her new home is Brooklyn, New York. America is indeed a land full of wonders, but Shirley doesn’t know any English, so it’s hard to make friends. Then a miracle – baseball – happens. It is 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is everyone’s hero. Jackie Robinson is proving that a black man, the grandson of a slave, can make a difference in America and for Shirley as well, on the ball field and off, America becomes the land of opportunity.