The scene can be seen in the excellent television series about baseball history by historian Ken Burns. At the end of his testimony about his life with Jackie Robinson, his wife Rachel says that no one can hurt her husband since he is no more.
Now, 30 years after the release of this documentary, a statue of the first black man to play in the Major Leagues has just been destroyed in Wichita, Kansas.
Marvin Paul, of the Laurentians Red Sox, and his brother, Mack Antoine Paul, an American football player who also excels in track and field, pose in front of the statue of Jackie Robinson in the Olympic Stadium. Another statue of the first black man to play in the Major League in Montreal was just destroyed by thieves in Wichita, Kansas.
Footage captured by a surveillance camera last week shows two people cutting the bronze statue at ankle level. They then put her in the back of a truck that an accomplice brought to the scene. Then the van speeds away.
This week, parts of the statue were discovered in the remains of an arson attack in the park where it stood. This monument was the face of a youth baseball league called League 42, the number that Robinson immortalized with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Will it ever stop?
The leaders of this league are reserved in their comments on the matter. But appearances give the impression that it is a gesture with racist connotations. Otherwise, what would explain why thugs specifically attacked a statue of Jackie Robinson?
The answer will probably come when the three thugs are captured by the police. The police chief also urges them to surrender.
This story is further proof that anti-black racism is still present.
Will it ever end?
The year of his death, 1972, Jackie Robinson wrote his autobiography. The work is titled: I never did it. While he acknowledged that the quality of life for people of his race had improved in that time, he added regretfully that there was still a long way to go.
On October 15, 1972, during the second game of the World Series between the Oakland Athletics and the Cincinnati Reds, major baseball celebrated the 25my Anniversary of Robinson’s first season with the Dodgers. Virtually blind and consumed by diabetes, Jackie died of a heart attack nine days later. She was only 53 years old.
METERme Robinson is still in this world. She celebrated her 100th birthday on July 19. She is still in good health and lives in a condo in Manhattan. A week after her centenary, she was present at the opening of the museum dedicated to her husband in New York.
He always has fond memories of 1946, the year Jackie donned the colors of the Montreal Royals, who were the AAA farm team in the International League. The couple lived at 8232 Avenue de Gaspé, in the Villeray neighborhood.
Not far from there, more precisely at the intersection of Jarry Est Street and the alley that leads to the back of the houses on Gaspé Street, you can see a magnificent mural of Jackie. There is another one, on the corner of Napoléon and Saint-Laurent, in Mile End.
In front of the Olympic Stadium there is also a statue of Jackie, showing him surrounded by children. It was previously parked at the intersection of De Lorimier Avenue and Ontario Street, where the Royals’ stadium was located. The plaque that accompanied the statue is still preserved.
Destruction of Jackie statue in Wichita must sadden Mme Robinson. But donations of $150,000 have already arrived from all over the United States so that a new statue can be made. It will not erase the crime committed by these scoundrels, but it should ease the pain of those affected by this reprehensible act.
Jackie must tell herself that the fight for black recognition is still far from over.