Dodgers unveil Jackie Robinson statue


I suspect my dad, as I had with my daughter, tried to explain to me the significance of Robinson - how he had not only broken baseball's color barrier, but in his brief remarks that day, he implored Major League Baseball to do more by hiring its first black manager.

Seventy years after his Major League debut and 45 years after his death, America is still heavily indebted to the great Jackie Robinson.

For all April 15 games, players on every team will honor Robinson by wearing his iconic No. 42 - a tradition now in its ninth season. It depicts Robinson stealing home and is located in the left field entrance of Dodger Stadium.

Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson, as well as his two children, Sharon and David Robinson were also in attendance, and together, the threesome counted down the moment where the blue curtain was dropped at the statue was unveiled to adoring fans and guests.

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"She's really led the charge on the legacy building", Sharon Robinson said.

"Every advancement in society has come from people standing on the shoulders of giants", Kastan told a crowd of baseball dignitaries and Robinson family members at the statue's unveiling.

Jackie Robinson was a great baseball player, but he was an even greater champion of civil rights.

It was reported on Friday that the Dodgers were revealing a statue of Robinson just outside the stadium in honor of Jackie Robinson Day.

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"I was born in '49, but it had to be '50-something, watching the Dodgers, listening to my dad - the old movie, "The Jackie Robinson Story", you know, with Ruby Dee, in black and white, and that's what I probably first remember". Nevertheless, the reverence that my father held for him has stayed with me my entire life. The day he stepped on that baseball field was an important day, not just in baseball, but in American history.

Ten years later, baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced on the 50th anniversary of Robinson's debut that his No. 42 would be retired throughout baseball. And the reason the the Martin Luther King's of the world could continue the fight, is no small part to the existence of a Jackie Robinson. It gives as many fans as possible a chance to see it. We watched the first games of Dwight Gooden when he joined the team the next year, and I called my dad from college when the Mets won the World Series a few years later.

The end product is the result of the artist and the Robinsons working with the very unity Jackie embodied.

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