A Heritage Trail of Sport Pioneers
This trail will look at the lives of five historical sports figures
This New York recreation center dates back to a Harlem playground that was established in 1911 and known as Colonial Park. The playground expanded significantly in the 1930s thanks to funding from the Works Progress Administration and this park was one of ten New York parks selected by the city for a public pool. The pool opened in 1936 and the park includes basketball and volleyball courts as well as two baseball diamonds and a gym, library, and community room. In 1978, the city renamed the center in honor of Jackie Robinson, the city's most famous athlete. A bust of Robinson was dedicated on November 10, 1981. The bust was created by artist Inge Hardison and dedicated by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs' Community Arts.
In a career that spanned three decades, Sugar Ray Robinson embodied the essence of the sweet science. He was a world welterweight champion and held the middleweight title five times. Robinson combined an athlete's grace and excellent power and was nearly unbeatable in his prime. He is considered by many to be the best fighter in history, pound-for-pound. He earned the nickname "Sugar" Ray when a newspaper reporter described him as "sweet as sugar." Robinson was inducted into the International Boxing & World Boxing Hall Of Fame in 1990. The IBHOF located in Canastota, NY & the WBHOF located in Riverside, CA
Sociology professor and Civil Rights Activist Dr. Harry Edwards was born November 22, 1942, in East St Louis, Illinois. Edwards grew up in a household that saw his mother abandon him and his seven siblings. Edwards' father worked as a laborer. He attended the newly integrated East St. Louis Senior High School where he excelled in sports. After graduating from high school in 1960, Edwards moved to California where he attended Fresno City College. Edwards would go on to become a scholarship athlete and an outstanding student, earning a Bachelor's degree in sociology and graduated summa cum laude from San Jose State College in 1964. In 1966, Edwards went on to receive his Masters’ degree in sociology from Cornell University where he was awarded the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship. In 1973, he received his Ph.D. degree in sociology from Cornell University where he helped to found United Black Students for Action and the Olympic Project for Human Rights. From 1967 to 1969, he was an instructor of sociology at San Jose State College, and an Assistant Professor and then Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1970 until his retirement from the school in the year 2002.
In April of 2013, Manhasset Valley Park named its new multipurpose field after Jim Brown, legendary Hall of Fame football player and a pioneer in integrating college and professional football in the modern era of the NFL. Brown had several "firsts" in NFL history. Brown was a teammate of Ernie Davis at Syracuse and has been called by some, "the greatest all-around athlete" of Syracuse University. He played several sports during his collegiate career but is best-known today for confronting racism and charting a path for other African American players.