Students take in private screening of film “42”

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MEQUON (WITI) -- A private screening of the film "42" was held at the Marcus North Shore Cinema on Tuesday, April 23rd -- especially for a group of students from Milwaukee's Roosevelt Middle School. The students had a chance to take in the powerful biographical film of Jackie Robinson -- the first African-American Major League baseball player.

"I hope to your generation, to all of you, you begin to understand what Jackie Robinson means," MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said.

Selig was on hand for the screening on Tuesday, and called the film the most important and powerful moment in baseball history.

"The pressure on Jackie to succeed was mind boggling to me even in retrospective, and so I'm proud," Selig said.

Selig said it was Robinson who paved the way for men who would become baseball legends.

"Henry Aaron, who became famous in Milwaukee, Willie Mayes, Bob Gibson. You see that Jackie Robinson was a great athlete, right? But you see more than that don't you?" Selig asked the crowd.

Robinson's daughter Sharon explained the movie is about more than baseball and how her father's relationship with Branch Rickey and his wife Rachel helped him persevere through great adversity.

"Integrity is an important value for you to develop during these middle years because you're going to need it even more when you get into high school," Robinson said.

Robinson explained to students why the film "42" is an important learning tool about succeeding not only in baseball but also in life.

"You've got to do what you think is right and if it isn't popular so be it. Just go do it," Selig said.

Both Selig and Sharon Robinson said they wouldn't change anything about the movie -- saying the filmmakers did a remarkable job following Robinson's first season of 1947.