Saturday is the 70th anniversary of legendary Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier and becoming the first African American to play in the modern era of Major League Baseball.
Despite the statue rising 77 inches and weighing 700 pounds, the likeness of Robinson is striking in its accuracy.
Having the statue on the reserve level on the third-base side was a prerequisite because that is the most trafficked entry at Dodger Stadium, and that gives as many fans as possible the chance to see it. It is the first statue at Dodger Stadium. And this is all because of what Jackie was able to do on April 15, 1947. The team will unveil his likeness during Jackie Robinson Day festivi. On Saturday, the Dodgers revealed it, on the 70th anniversary of Robinson making his Major League Baseball debut. Beyond being an extraordinary athlete, Robinson was an extraordinary individual.
"They really wanted me to get the likeness and I assured them I'd be working very hard on that", he said.
Thank you @adidasbaseball for this gift and opportunity to celebrate the life of a true @mlb and American Hero, Jackie Robinson.
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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.
Also invited are about 50 members of Robinson's extended family, the majority from his late brother Mack's side of the family in nearby Pasadena. White baseball players, who likely spend less time thinking about racial discrimination than their black counterparts do. More than 40 years later I realize why Robinson mattered so much to my dad, because he was a symbol of the possibilities that were ahead, not for him, but his young son.
UCLA plays its home games at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
I do remember, though, when Robinson, only a few weeks after that appearance, succumbed to complications from heart disease and diabetes at age 53. More than 70 years later, Bowman says Montreal welcomed Robinson during the Hall of Famer's one season with the International League Royals.
Rachel Robinson and the Boys of Summer will not be around forever to share those stories, but they will be told and retold at the Jackie Robinson Museum in NY, with groundbreaking ceremonies set this year.