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
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He was the first black man to play in the major leagues, ending six decades of racial segregation, and 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 on 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 77-inch tall bronze statue depicts Robinson as a rookie in 1947 stealing home, a nod to his aggressive baserunning. It 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 as 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 and 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, along with daughter Sharon and son David. Their other son, Jackie Jr., 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, 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 as part of their Sporting Statues Project database.
 
They found just two of his existing statues depict him playing baseball, while 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?
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COMMENTS (27)
  • danier-bla
    4/28/2017 - 01:07 p.m.

    Baseball could effect Civil rights by the coaches playing more white people instead of playing the black and being unfair to the blacks. I liked reading this article because it showed that blacks are important to and that white people aren't better than blacks.

  • treyw-bla
    4/28/2017 - 01:09 p.m.

    Baseball could affect civil rights by the coaches and teams favoring one race or color over another. Baseball and Jackie Robinson could show people that everyone should receive the same opportunities no matter what their color or race. Personally, I enjoyed this article a lot and found it very interesting.

  • lydiao-bla
    4/28/2017 - 07:34 p.m.

    Jackie Robinson was the first black American to play in the major leagues. He played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was the first to be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Robinson's barrier-breaking career every April was honored by baseball. He had the No. 42 number. It amazed me that he was the first black man who was in the major leagues. I thought that his teammate would be happy that he was dead.

  • MJones02
    5/03/2017 - 10:48 a.m.

    This story is inspiring because the he was the first black person to play in MLB and I believe even though Jackie was different, he was the same as other players, but just with a good heart.

  • mterrell-dav
    5/03/2017 - 12:42 p.m.

    In response to "Jackie Robinson gets statue at Dodger Stadium," I agree that this will help people learn about Jackie Robinson. One reason I disagree is that some people may not want this 700 pound statue because people may think it takes up to many space. Another reason is that there may be racism that could get this torn down. It says in the article "The 77-inch tall bronze statue depicts Robinson as a rookie in 1947 stealing home, a nod to his aggressive baserunning. It weighs 700 pounds and is secured with a 150-pound steel rod." A third reason that it took a long time to build. Even though I think its a really good idea.

  • CCartmell-ing
    5/03/2017 - 01:22 p.m.

    This Article was very interesting because it talked about what Jackie Robinson is meant for Baseball.

  • bmaria-dav
    5/03/2017 - 09:00 p.m.


    In response to "Jackie Robinson gets statue at Dodger Stadium," I agree that another statue of him should be built. One reason I agree is that he was an inspiration to all people, no matter the race. Another reason is that he showed that even people that weren't excepted back then, can break some records in MLB. It says in the article "Jackie Robinson showed us you can stand up, be strong and be respected, and play great ball under tremendous pressure," he showed us, everyone, even baseball players that we can do anything if we stand up for it. Even though this can cause controversy, I think
    this symbolizes that, people do have a voice.

  • lukeh-orv
    5/05/2017 - 01:09 p.m.

    I found this article,"The National Spelling Bee adjusts its rules to prevent ties," interesting because I did not know a tie was even possible in a Spelling-Bee. I thought that it would just go until one person misses a word. I also found it interesting how if ties did occur, prior to 2014 they were very uncommon, as the article says, "Prior to 2014, there was only one Spelling Bee tie. It occurred in 1962." This was really surprising to me.

  • heracliog-ver
    5/19/2017 - 09:18 a.m.

    He deserves it because all the racism he get form other people mostly people say stuff to him he just has to ignore them because he can't do anything the only thing he can do is just play baseball so that what he did he made a difference between black and white guys playing baseball.

  • marianov-ver
    5/19/2017 - 10:08 a.m.

    Thia article is very interesting, it talks about how Jackie Robinson has a statue of him stealing home base. The statue is in the entrance of the Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. I found it very interesting that they put some of his most inspiring quotes on his statue. Furthermore, he had a great impact on the game of baseball, he was the first African American man to play the game. Finally I think that this statue could mean a lot to many people.

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