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

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 in Los Angeles. It was unveiled April 15. The day marked the 70th anniversary of his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Since 2004, baseball has honored Robinson's barrier-breaking career every April. It is the one day every player on every team wears his retired No. 42 number.
Two years ago on Jackie Robinson Day, owner and chairman Mark Walter suggested a sculpture belonged at Dodger Stadium of the six-time All-Star second baseman. Robinson starred when the team was in Brooklyn.
"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 depicts Robinson as a rookie in 1947. He is portrayed stealing home. It is a nod to his aggressive baserunning. The statue weighs 700 pounds and 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 and Elysian Park in the other.
Smith said the location was chosen because it's where the majority of 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 of 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."
Now 94, Rachel Robinson came from the East Coast to attend the unveiling. Daughter Sharon and son David also attended. The Robinsons' had one other son, 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 from the University of Sheffield and Ffion Thomas, a Ph.D. candidate from the University of Central Lancashire, have cataloged Robinson's monuments. Their list is part of their Sporting Statues Project database.
They found just two of his existing statues depict him playing baseball. The rest commemorate Robinson's social achievements or association 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 spent in New York.
"It really links the Brooklyn Dodgers with the Los Angeles Dodgers," she said.
"It's 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."

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How could baseball affect civil rights?
Write your answers in the comments section below

  • devynm13-
    4/21/2017 - 08:35 a.m.

    Because baseball was and all american sport, the mixing of the races would would make both whites and blacks on team have to play equally, in order to play a fair game, cause a little shine for equality.

  • kelliek-
    4/21/2017 - 08:37 a.m.

    When Jackie Robinson first integrated the white baseball team, he got a lot of hate and a lot of teams didn't let him play on their field. Throughout the hate, he showed everyone that no matter what the color of your skin is, you can be integrated. Since baseball is like the main game of America, it should everyone that other things in america should be integrated.

  • nathanm-ver
    4/21/2017 - 09:15 a.m.

    I think it's right for Los Angeles to do something like that especially back then when they even let him play on the Dodgers. Baseball is one of Americas most popular sports and to mix the race is wonderful. He was very brave for joining and not giving up just because of the hate he got. One hundred percent I'm with this all the way Jackie was a role model and he deserves to be honored and recognized so I think it's great they put a statue of him up.

  • handroh-ver
    4/21/2017 - 10:05 a.m.

    This is awesome,because he is a big part of baseball history.I personally think he deserved this after what he has gone through his days and he is one of the most respected baseball player of all-time.

  • marvinb-ver
    4/21/2017 - 10:14 a.m.

    I thought it was a great thing to honor the first black person to play baseball, and help with the civil rights movement, no offence the national baseball team, but to be honest I kind of feel like they did it late he's gone it would've made him feel great if he would've seen it but his legacy lives on

  • hayleel-ste
    4/21/2017 - 12:53 p.m.

    Baseball was a loved sport and still is today for America. Personally I believe he was very brave for what he did that he deserves the statue.

  • matteor-
    4/21/2017 - 12:57 p.m.

    Its about time I mean this is the person who made baseball intergated

  • garfielda-
    4/21/2017 - 01:02 p.m.

    Everything changed more blacks were brought into the major leagues. some people were still mad about the choice of blacks and whites and blacks coming together.

  • zakrym-ste
    4/21/2017 - 01:19 p.m.

    Jackie Robinson is someone who changed baseball forever. He paved the way for colored people to be the face of the league. It is very much deserved.

  • jordanb2-ver
    4/21/2017 - 03:17 p.m.

    baseball is one american sport that is fun for all

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