Jackie Robinson Day 2017 will be a milestone for Dodger Stadium. The Los Angeles Dodgers will commemorate Robinson’s legacy with a statue that will be unveiled on April 15. This will be the first stadium statue for the franchise.
“It really links the Brooklyn Dodgers with the L.A. Dodgers,” said Robinson’s daughter, Sharon. “He didn’t play for the L.A. Dodgers but he’s very much a part of California.”
Branly Cadet, a California-based sculptor of Haitian descent, created the statue. Cadet is an alum of Cornell University and won the James Wilbur Johnston Figure Sculpture Competition.
The sculptor shared his vision of an action-posed statue to the family prior to working on it. The 10ft statue is a pose of Robinson sliding into home plate, a pose Sharon strongly approved of.
“That’s what he brought to Major League Baseball and what he learned from the Negro League, to be a more aggressive base runner,” Sharon said.
Family members of Robinson, along with Jackie Robinson Foundation board members, scholars, and alums are predicted to be in attendance for the unveiling. The statue is located near the reserve level along the left field line.
On Jackie Robinson Day, all players and personnel of every franchise in Major League Baseball wear No. 42 jerseys, the number that Robinson wore throughout his MLB career.
The Dodgers will face the Arizona Diamondbacks for game two of their four-game series at 6:10pm on Saturday. The first 40 thousand fans that attend the game at Dodger stadium will receive a commemorative miniature replica of the new statue.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Despite facing blatant racism, Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers for 10 years. In his career, Robinson scored 137 homeruns, 947 runs, and 734 RBI’s. In 1962, Robinson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
“Jackie Robinson showed us that you can stand up and be strong and be respected and play great ball in spite under tremendous pressure,” Sharon said. “All of those things inspire us today to deal with the issues that we must deal with.”