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Dodgers unveil statue to trailblazer Robinson

18 April 2017

In memory of Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball is committed to making our sport accessible and inclusive for all those who want to play, coach or participate.

Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson, left, and wife, Cookie, pose with a bronze statue of Jackie Robinson outside Dodger Stadium before the team's baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Saturday, April 15, 2017, in Los Angeles.

There is no reason to wonder why Major League Baseball celebrates "Jackie Robinson Day" every April 15.

The Dodgers on Saturday unveiled their statue of Jackie Robinson, honoring the 70th anniversary of Robinson's debut and breaking baseball's color barrier on April 15, 1947. The statue depicts Robinson stealing home as a rookie with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, a nod to the aggressive baserunning of the six-time All-Star.

"It captures dad's fierce compassion and determination", said Sharon Robinson of the statue.

The family shared numerous photos of Robinson with Cadet. On Saturday, the Dodgers revealed it, on the 70th anniversary of Robinson making his Major League Baseball debut. When I reflect on what Jackie Robinson has given me - an African-American playing the game I love, surrounded by so many different people who don't look like me - I feel so much gratitude and respect.

This will be the first statue at Dodger Stadium, which opened in 1962 and has been home to four World Series champions.

The statue of Robinson is said to be 77 inches tall and features Jackie sliding into home base. "It really links the Brooklyn Dodgers with the Los Angeles Dodgers".

As cemented in history as Robinson's actions and plays are, the Dodgers will take another step to immortalize No. 42. Two oversized busts of Jackie and Mack Robinson, an Olympic track medalist, are located across from Pasadena City Hall.

Robinson's successful integration of Major League Baseball is credited with helping change Americans' attitudes toward blacks and being a catalyst toward later civil rights advances. White baseball players, who likely spend less time thinking about racial discrimination than their black counterparts do. In fact, Robinson has been rewritten as an apolitical hero we can all rally around (ignoring more complicated aspects of his ideology), so praising him is the opposite of a radical position.

"We had seen pictures of it, but to see it in person, it was everything we hoped it would be", said Sharon Robinson.