Jackie Robinson Commemorated With Rose Bowl Statue

A commemorative statue honoring baseball legend Jackie Robinson was unveiled on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017 outside the Rose Bowl Stadium main entrance. The ceremony was hosted by veteran Dodger sportscaster, Vin Scully with a guest list that included Robinson's wife and daughter, alongside Pasadena city officials.

Robinson spent his formative years in Pasadena, attending John Muir High School and Pasadena City College, excelling in four sports throughout his years there. Robinson continued his education at UCLA where he also lettered in four sports — baseball, football, basketball and track.

The statue was a gift from the Tull Family Foundation as part of the stadium's INSPIRE centennial capital campaign, an effort focused on the preservation and enhancement of the Rose Bowl as a national historic landmark.

"Jackie Robinson is a true American legend," said the Tull Family. "We are so honored to be able to recognize his legacy in a town and for the team that meant so much to him and the Robinson family."

Though Robinson is best known for breaking the color barrier as the first black player in Major League Baseball, signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, the statue celebrates his achievements on the football field instead, where he excelled as a student athlete at PCC in the 1930s.

Scully mentioned it was ironic that although Robinson is most known for his baseball career, it was technically the athlete's weakest sport.

"And now, I have a shocking note to pass on to you," Scully said. "In baseball, Jackie Robinson played one year at UCLA. This great player who is in the Hall of Fame, who is looked upon as one of the great baseball players of all time, his one year playing at UCLA he batted .097. No wonder he went on to other sports."

The statue will be on view outside of the Rose Bowl's main Gate A entrance, settled among a newly designed rose garden.

"On behalf of the Robinson family and this majestic stadium, surrounded by the San Gabriel Mountains, extended family and friends, we're thrilled to share this incredible moment with you," said Sharon, Robinson's daughter. "Thank you all for bringing us all together at a time when we need hope and we need inspiration. Now, Jackie Robinson and the Pasadena Rose Bowl are now joined in history and in life."

City News Service contributed to this report.

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