Jackie Robinson gets statue at Dodger Stadium A bronze statue of Brooklyn Dodgers' Jackie Robinson is unveiled outside Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles before the Los Angeles Dodgers' baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Saturday, April 15, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong/AP Photo, File)
Jackie Robinson gets statue at Dodger Stadium
Lexile

He was the first black man to play in baseball's major leagues. His first appearance in a game ended six decades of racial segregation in the big leagues. Before Robinson, no black players were allowed in the majors.
 
He also was a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
 
Fittingly, Jackie Robinson is the first to be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium. It is in Los Angeles. It was unveiled April 15. The day marks the 70th anniversary of his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The team moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.
 
Baseball has honored Robinson's barrier-breaking career every April. This started in 2004. It is the one day every player on every team wears his retired No. 42 number. 
 
Mark Walter is the team owner and chairman of the Dodgers. Two years ago on Jackie Robinson Day, he suggested a sculpture of the six-time All-Star second baseman belonged at Dodger Stadium. 

Robinson grew up in California. His baseball career in the big leagues was when the Dodgers played in Brooklyn. It is part of New York City. 

"He just felt it was an idea whose time had come," said Janet Marie Smith. She is the team's senior vice president of planning and development.
 
The bronze statue is 77 inches tall. It shows Robinson as a rookie in 1947. He is shown stealing home. It is a nod to his aggressive baserunning. The statue weighs 700 pounds. It is secured with a 150-pound steel rod. It stands in the left field reserve plaza. Views of downtown Los Angeles can be seen in one direction. Elysian Park can be seen in the other direction.
 
Smith said the location was chosen because it is where most fans enter the hillside ballpark. The park opened 55 years ago.
 
On the statue's granite base are three of Robinson's quotes. They were chosen by the family. One is wife Rachel's favorite: "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."
 
"Our goal was to both celebrate Jackie Robinson as an athlete and to acknowledge the important role he had in civil rights and social change in America," Smith said.
 
The family shared numerous photos of Robinson with sculptor Branly Cadet. He is from Oakland, California.
 
"They really wanted me to get the likeness. I assured them I'd be working very hard on that," he said. "That was the element I spent the most time on to capture an expression that would be happening in that moment."
 
Rachel Robinson is now 94 years old. She came from the East Coast to attend the unveiling. Daughter Sharon and son David also attended. The Robinsons' had one other son. His name was Jackie Jr. He died in a car accident in 1971.
 
"This is going to be a very special time," Sharon Robinson said. "My dad was a humble person and here he is 70 years later being recognized. He used to come home and say, 'I got a standing ovation today.' And he would be so shocked."
 
Robinson's statue at the ballpark is the eighth of him. It is the most of any American athlete. This is according to two British researchers.
 
Statistician Chris Stride is from the University of Sheffield. Ffion Thomas is a Ph.D. candidate from the University of Central Lancashire. They have cataloged Robinson's monuments. Their list is part of their Sporting Statues Project database.
 
They found just two of his existing statues show him playing baseball. The rest honor Robinson's social achievements. Some pay tribute to his link with a particular location.
 
"Each of the statutes, and given their location, reflects the totality of the man," Sharon Robinson said. "He would have wanted that very much."
 
Sharon Robinson views the statue as a fitting connection between her father's California roots and his 10-year Hall of Fame career. He spent his baseball years in New York.
 
"It really links the Brooklyn Dodgers with the Los Angeles Dodgers," she said.
 
"It is not about looking back so much as it is feeling inspired," Sharon Robinson said. "There's still lots and lots of struggles in this world and it's a very complicated place. Jackie Robinson showed us you can stand up, be strong and be respected. And play great ball under tremendous pressure."

Filed Under:  
Assigned 117 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How could baseball affect civil rights?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (29)
  • marcob-san
    4/24/2017 - 12:02 p.m.

    I don't think baseball can affect the civil rights because it is just a sport nothing will happen. But along time ago when black and white people cant do anything it could affect the civil rights because black people couldnt play with white people but Jackie robinson still joined the baseball team!!!

  • miah-san
    4/24/2017 - 12:03 p.m.

    Baseball could affect the civil rights because he was the first black man to play in the major leagues. Baseball could affect the civil rights because no black people were allowed in majors. Baseball could affect the civil rights because it is about feeling inspired.

  • robertoh1-san
    4/24/2017 - 12:03 p.m.

    Baseball can affect civil rights because in 1947 when a black guy joins the major league when in 1947 black people can not join the major league. Another reason why baseball can affect civil rights because the number 42 was not allowed as a number in baseball until everyone wore 42 on April 2004 all the way up to now. A third way baseball can affect civil rights because a black man named Jackie Robinson was playing in the major league he was being called named and got hit but he keep on playing.

  • diegos1-san
    4/24/2017 - 12:03 p.m.

    It can affect by the players.by the position.also by the way they play.and the people not supporting the players.amd by throwing things at players

  • michellem-san
    4/24/2017 - 12:04 p.m.

    I think baseball affect civil rights by people adding more people to the team and then If they don't know them then they will start to be being mean the the new person and that is not fair.

  • austins2-san
    4/24/2017 - 12:04 p.m.

    Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play with the Dodgers .

  • joshlins-san
    4/24/2017 - 12:04 p.m.

    I think base ball can affect civil rights by being catatgorized as a white player on an all white team, but jackie was a black player on an all white team so it caused him to get yelled at by many people watching the game and find that it's wrong for a black player to be on an all white team. He was yelled, thrown things at, and has been threatened because he was the only black player on the team, but that change because today we have different colored people on one team and it doesn't matter, we all play.

  • mariav-san
    4/24/2017 - 12:04 p.m.

    Jackie Robinson is the first of playing bastball. They also did a statue. It look cool.

  • miguele-san
    4/24/2017 - 12:05 p.m.

    Baseball can affect civil right because there was really bad stuff going on that time. And that there were people that can not be on baseball because of there skin color. And that Jackie Robinson was treated not right because of his skin color.

  • brayand-san
    4/24/2017 - 12:05 p.m.

    That baseball can affect the civil right by people that are part of the civil right and it can be a lot of problems

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT