On the day every major-league player will wear No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play in the major leagues, the late Hall of Famer will be the first to be honored with a statue at Dodger Stadium. That Strawberry is still so recognizable nearly 20 years after his retirement speaks to an era in which baseball really was America's pastime, and possessed stars who transcended the sport. Not only do you get the engrossing sports memorabilia, but you also get to hear sports legends like former Phillie Bill White and U.S. Olympian Herb Douglas talk about their experience of playing with Jackie and knowing him off the field.
The 77-inch statue is made of bronze and depicts Robinson stealing home.
There are seven other statues of Robinson, from Pasadena to Daytona Beach to Stamford, Conn., no other American athlete is thought to be so recognized more often.
"It's emotional", Jackie Robinson's daughter Sharon said this week. In the lead up to Saturday's game against the Oakland A's, Astros players can be seen wearing shirts with one simple term on the front, "equality". It weighs 700 pounds and is secured with a 150-pound steel rod.
In 2004, the Major League Baseball chose to honor Robinson's memory by celebrating Jackie Robinson Day. All 30 Major League Baseball teams paid tribute to the anniversary Saturday. He used to come home and say, 'I got a standing ovation today.' He'd be shocked.
Jackie Robinson is immortalized by statues in Canada, Connecticut, Florida and New Jersey, and by two statues in NY. "There's still lots and lots of struggles in this world and it's a very complicated place".
Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widow and wife of 26 years, is said to be making the trek for the statue's reveal. "Jackie Robinson showed us you can stand up, be strong and be respected, and play great ball under tremendous pressure".