New York

Jackie Robinson Museum opens after 14 years of planning

The Jackie Robinson Museum opened on Tuesday. Manhattan At a gala ceremony attended by the widow of a ball player breaking the barrier and two of his children.

Rachel Robinson, who turned 100 on July 19, sees a 30-minute outdoor celebration from a wheelchair in the heat of 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) and caps a project started in 2008. I cut the ribbon for.

Her 72-year-old daughter, Sharon, also stares from her wheelchair, and her 70-year-old son, David, speaks to a crowd of about 200 people sitting in folding chairs lined up in a closed section of the main road, Valic Street. I did. There is a 19,380 square foot museum. Open to the public on September 5th

“The baseball problem, the problem Jackie Robinson challenged in 1947, they’re still with us,” said David Robinson. “The signs of white have only been removed, but the complexity of equal opportunity still exists.”

Rachel Robinson unveiled the museum on April 15, 2008. This is the 61st anniversary of Jackie breaking the big league color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field. Robinson became the NL Rookie of the Year in 1955, 1949 he became the NL Batting Champion and MVP, and the Seven All-Star and World Series Champions. He hit .313 with 141 home runs and 200 stolen bases in 11 seasons and was inducted into the 1962 Hall of Fame.

Robinson, who died in 1972, had an impact beyond baseball, revitalizing a significant portion of American public opinion and boosting the civil rights movement.

“There is no place on earth where our name, or the name of our country, has a dream.” New York Mayor Eric Adams Said. “There is no German dream. There is no French dream. There is no Polish dream. Damn, there is an American dream. And this man and wife have that dream, and you have a piece of paper in America and baseball. I’m not going to dream on, let me say you’ll be a dream of life. Thanks to number 42, and because he had a wonderful wife who understood that dream and vision, we’re more It ’s great. ”

A gala dinner was held on Monday night with a preview of the museum. The museum contains play equipment and items such as Robinson’s 1946 minor league contract ($ 600 / month) and 1947 newcomer contract ($ 5,000 salary). The museum also has a collection of 40,000 images and 450 hours of footage.

A 15-piece band was performed at the ceremony, attended by former pitcher CC Sabathia, former NL president Len Coleman, former Mets owner Fred Wilpon, player association president Tony Clark, and Hall of Fame president Josh Rawitch. Did.

“Without him, I wouldn’t be,” Sabathia said. “I wouldn’t have realized my dream of playing Major League Baseball.”

Yankees General Manager, Brian Cashman, Director Spike Lee (I’m wearing a Brooklyn Dodgers cap) and former tennis star Billie Jean King were also at hand.

“We seem to be more divided than ever,” King said. “People like Jackie Robinson reminded us that we have to do the right thing every morning, every night.”

Initial estimates were for a start in 2010 and a cost of $ 25 million. The Great Recession caused a delay.

The ground finally collapsed on April 27, 2017, when the Jackie Robinson Foundation raised $ 23.5 million out of the planned $ 42 million and announced that the museum was scheduled to open in 2019. The pandemic caused further delays, raising total funding to $ 38. Of the million dollars, 2.6 million dollars were donated by New York City.

Tickets cost $ 18 for adults and $ 15 for students, seniors and children. On the second floor is the Education Center, which is part of a plan envisioned by Rachel Robinson.

Foundation President Dela Briton, who led the project, said: “We want to be a safe place, as young people are saying now, without worrying about the first backlash that occurs when people talk about race and say something on social media.”

David Robinson said his father would have been proud.

“He was the one who used the word’us’,” said David. “Today I think Jackie Robinson would say I accept this honor, but I accept this honor far beyond the individual self, far beyond the family, far beyond the race. Jackie Robinson would say you wouldn’t think you were standing on my shoulders, saying that I was standing on the shoulders of my mother, a Georgian peasant and grandmother born as a slave. think.”


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Jackie Robinson Museum opens after 14 years of planning

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