21 Apr Dodgers to erect stadium statue in honor of Jackie Robinson
Could any upcoming big bronze statues possibly be more deserving than that planned at Dodger Stadium to commemorate the life and achievements of one of the true baseball greats? We are, of course, referring to Jackie Robinson, who on April 15, 1947, broke the game’s color line when he became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB).
The statue plan was announced at Dodger Stadium – where the statue will be erected – at a news conference attended by Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson and Robinson’s widow, Rachel, ahead of a 5-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners. A firm sign of the weight of this honor is the fact that there are, to this date, no statues on the stadium grounds.
Indeed, it seems that Robinson’s tribute may be merely the first of a series at the stadium, Dodgers President Stan Kasten admitting that “I would not be surprised if there were more to come.” This suggests that such legendary team figures as Vin Scully, Tom Lasorda, Maury Wills, Sandy Koufax and Fernando Valenzuela could also soon be immortalized in bronze.
For now, though, the limelight is firmly on Robinson’s statue, about which few precise details have been released so far. It is not yet known what the designer, design or even location will be, The Orange County Register‘s Bill Plunkett stating that no decisions had been made. Such selections will be made in close conjunction with Rachel Robinson and the family over the coming months.
Rachel could understandably barely hide her delight over the news, commenting: “I’ve been waiting years and years for this. It’s the fulfillment of a dream.”
The announcement came on the 68th anniversary of Robinson’s historic debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers, his modern day counterparts on both teams at the stadium on Wednesday wearing jerseys bearing his famous number 42. This is part of Jackie Robinson Day, the annual event that is celebrated across MLB, in recognition of the impact that Robinson’s debut has had for subsequent generations of players.
The Dodgers rounded off the day in style, with Adrian Gonzalez two for five with a double and a run batted in in a triumph for the team. It means that that Gonzalez has now reached base at least twice in each of the first nine games of the season, an achievement not made by any Dodgers player since Robinson in 1952.
Here at Big Statues, that struck us as an entirely befitting way to celebrate the announcement of one of the most eagerly anticipated big bronze statues in sports.