Sesame Street is celebrating its 40th anniversary on the public television airwaves, and over the course of those 40 years, a number of athletes have made appearances with Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and Bert and Ernie.
One name that stands out is Jackie Robinson, the Hall of Fame Brooklyn Dodger who broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947 and become perhaps the most important figure in the American sports history. He died in 1972, so his appearance came in the early days of the show, and he may have been one of the first sports icons to appear on the program.
Others who have shown up on Sesame Street include Arthur Ashe, Kobe Bryant, David Beckham, Picabo Street, Terrell Davis, Peggy Fleming, Jeff Gordon, Keith Hernandez, Vince Carter, Julius Erving, Walt Frazier, Rebecca Lobo, Joe Torre, Bill Walsh, Joe Namath and Bo Jackson.
The only Redskin to have ever appeared on the program was not actually a Redskin when he was on the show, but it is the closest the franchise has ever gotten to Sesame Street — Jason Taylor. It’s hard to believe Joe Theismann, John Riggins or one of the numerous former Redskins media stars somehow missed a shot on Sesame Street. Jim Zorn seems like a candidate, though.
Listen to “The Sports Fix,” co-hosted by me and Kevin Sheehan, from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on ESPN 980 and espn980.com.
For more information about Thom Loverro, go to www.thomloverro.com.