After 55 years, Dodger Stadium has a statue.
The Los Angeles Dodgers unveiled the first statue in Stadium history on the 70th anniversary of the day that Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball's color barrier on April 15, 1947.
The Dodgers honored Robinson and his family with a pregame ceremony that featured speakers, Stan Kasten, Frank Robinson, Vin Scully, and Dodgers' owner Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
"I'm humbled to participate in the unveiling of the Jackie Robinson statue on the 70th anniversary of his Major League debut," said Magic in a statement. "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. The 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."
Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson, as well as his two children, Sharon and David Robinson were also in attendance, and together, the threesome counted down the moment where the blue curtain was dropped at the statue was unveiled to adoring fans and guests.
"We had seen pictures of it, but to see it in person, it was everything we hoped it would be," said Sharon Robinson. "It was as powerful and inspirational as we'd hoped, and it was really wonderful to share that with Mom."
For fans coming out to Dodger Stadium this season who want to see the statue, it's located on the Left Field Reserve Plaza of the stadium and depicts Jackie Robinson stealing home plate, a feat he did 19 times in his Hall of Fame career.
Thank you, Jackie. pic.twitter.com/qmpUR7BoMs— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 15, 2017
The bronze statue was designed by sculptor Branly Cadet and took 18 months to complete. It sits atop a large granite base, complete with a biography and quotes from Robinson. All told, the statue stands over nine feet tall.
"I analyzed the sculptures that already existed of him, and used the context of Los Angeles. This is a megalopolis. It's a big over the top city, so it was important the sculpture was as dynamic as the city and as Jackie was," Cadet said. "I also wanted to capture his historical significance. Stealing home is one of the hardest things to do in baseball, so the act of stealing home, I thought was a good metaphor."
All players across Major League Baseball wore No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson on Saturday and the first 40,000 fans in attendance at Dodger Stadium received a replica of the statue, courtesy of Bank of America.
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