Opening Day has come and gone, but the celebration of the Brooklyn Dodgers Opening Day 70 years ago is what fans in Los Angeles will be most looking forward to this season.
The Dodgers announced that they will unveil the first statue in team history, depicting second baseman Jackie Robinson, the man who historically broke the color barrier, becoming the first African-American player in Major League Baseball on April 15, 1947.
The organization commissioned artist Branly Cadet to create the statue, with a ceremony and unveiling planned before the April 15th game at Dodger Stadium.
In addition to the historic moment, the first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive a miniature replica of the statue itself.
Fans in Los Angeles have known about the statue for over two years since it was announced that they would build their own "ring of honor," erecting statues for the greatest Dodgers ever to put on a jersey over time. So naturally, Robinson would be the first.
Janet Marie Smith, the Dodgers Vice President of Planning and Development is one of the few people who have seen the statue, but she would only reveal that it is "larger than life," when asked about it earlier this year.
However, after years of secrecy, the Dodgers revealed that the bronze statue will be of Robinson stealing home plate in Game 1 of the 1955 World Series against New York Yankees catcher, Yogi Berra.
Introducing the Jackie Robinson replica statue presented by @BankOfAmerica.
The first 40K fans on April 15 get one. https://t.co/FqTO4NW8uM pic.twitter.com/nycb1Obu4V — Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 3, 2017
The statue will have a granite base, with a commemorative plaque honoring Robinson. It will be located on the Reserve Level of Dodger Stadium, the most populated level throughout the entire stadium.
Robinson has already been immortalized in statue form on a several occasions. First, outside the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones in New York City where the iconic image of teammates Pee Wee Reese and Robinson is forever in bronze.
There's also a statue of Robinson in Canada. Robinson played for the Dodgers in the minors in 1946 in Montreal. Another statue of Robinson is located in Daytona Beach, Florida outside of a spring training stadium known as "Jackie Robinson Ballpark."
But wait, there's more...
The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) erected a statue in Robinson's honor because Robinson is arguably their most famous alumni.
Pasadena, the city where Robinson was born also built a statue in Robinson's honor, as did Stamford, Connecticut (where he died), Jersey City, NJ (where he played in the Negro Leagues) and of course in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
According to our records, the statue being built at Dodger Stadium is at least the ninth such statue of Robinson that we know of.