LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today unveiled a Jackie Robinson Statue at Dodger Stadium – the first statue in Stadium history – as part of Jackie Robinson Day celebrations on the 70thanniversary of Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier on April 15, 1947.
Today’s dedication ceremonies featured speakers Dodger President & CEO Stan Kasten, Frank Robinson, Vin Scully, Dodger Owner Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Sharon and David Robinson. Rachel Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Tommy Lasorda, Jaime Jarrín and Don Newcombe were also in attendance. The statue’s sculptor, Branly Cadet, along with Andre Ethier, Orel Hershiser and Dave Roberts, presented members of the Robinson Family with a photograph of the sculpture during the ceremonies, which were emceed by Kevin Frazier.
“The Robinson family is thrilled that the Dodgers have chosen to honor Jackie Robinson with a statue at Dodger Stadium,” said Sharon Robinson. “We appreciate the artist’s depiction of him going into his signature slide as well as addressing my father’s commitment to social change with key quotes. In addition to today’s honor, we are extremely grateful for the support the Dodgers and the Dodgers Foundation have shown to my father’s legacy organization, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and the Jackie Robinson Museum, which will be breaking ground this year.”
The statue, which is located on the Left Field Reserve Plaza at the Stadium, depicts a young Jackie Robinson in his rookie season sliding into home plate, a salute to his aggressive and ambitious playing style. The bronze statue, which took 18 months to complete, sits atop a granite base, which contains a biographical paragraph as well as three of Robinson’s iconic quotes. The combined statute and base stand nearly nine feet tall.
“I’m humbled to participate in the unveiling of the Jackie Robinson statue on the 70th anniversary of his Major League debut,” said Earvin “Magic” Johnson. “His impact exceeded beyond baseball, paving a way for me and African-American athletes across all sports. Beyond being an extraordinary athlete, Robinson was an extraordinary individual. This statue is a tribute to not only the rich history and success Robinson brought to the Dodgers organization, but the social impact he made on this country.”
The Dodgers will continue to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day during pre-game ceremonies and throughout tonight’s 6:10 p.m. game vs. Arizona, with the first 40,000 ticketed fans in attendance receiving a replica of the statue, presented by Bank of America.