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Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese Monument

Historic Sites, Monuments, Landmarks, and Public Art (State Historical Landmark)

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Jackie Robinson was a professional baseball player, a talented athlete who attended UCLA and a baseball player who would become the first African American Major League Baseball player. Robinson would break the color barrier in Major League Baseball and through much troubles, death threats and acts of racism, he would succeed to be a Hall of Fame player for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Pee Wee Reese was the shortstop for the Brooklyn Dodgers and an activist for Jackie Robinson. Despite some of his teammates hate for Robinson, Reese would support Robinson and help him get through the racist times both on and off the field. In the first season on Robinson's career, in a game where the discrimination was becoming too much for Jackie, Reese walked over to him on the field and put his arm around him in an act of acceptance to the public for an African American in Major League Baseball. This act is depicted here in the monument in Coney Island, New York.

The statue of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese outside of the Brooklyn Cyclones Stadium
A picture of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese sitting in the Dodgers dugout during a game

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Jackie Robinson was a great man, a civil rights activist, a superstar athlete and a hall of fame baseball player. Jackie would attend UCLA where he was a multi-sport athlete and where his collegiate career would be cut short to enlist in the United States Army. Being a civil rights activist, his Army career would also be cut short when he would be court martialed and discharged from the Army because of his actions and statements regarding segregation. These beliefs by Jackie Robinson would follow him into his professional baseball career as well. Robinson would play one season in the Negro Baseball League and would then receive a call that would forever change his life and the game of Major League Baseball forever. 
Branch Rickey was the President of the Brooklyn Dodgers Major League Baseball team. Mr.Rickey was willing to take a chance on the young African American superstar despite the controversy of him potentially being the first African American Major League Baseball player. Robinson would make his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers and excel at a high level on the field. Off the field he faced some of the hardest discrimination ever. Jackie would receive death threats, hate mail, endless name calling, and these along with many other forms would almost lead him to quit the game. His talents were to great for him to quit the game and his perseverance and beliefs were to strong as well. On the field he came across a teammate who believed in him no matter his skin color. This man was Pee Wee Reese, the Captain of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the starting shortstop.
Pee Wee Reese was the leader of the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Captain and the starting shortstop. Most of his teammates did not like the fact that Jackie Robinson, an African American, would be a teammate of theirs. All of the members of the team and all of the players in Major League Baseball were white except for Robinson. Pee Wee Reese believed in segregation and believed in what Jackie Robinson could do for the good of the game of baseball. In the first months of Robinson's career came a time on the baseball field that would be the biggest action towards segregation since Robinson broke the color barrier and became the first African American Major League Baseball player.
In a game 
In the season of 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers were a very good baseball team. They were in the midst of the controversy of having Jackie Robinson on the team. For once and for all, in the public eye the speculated hate for Robinson by his own teammates would be put to rest. In the middle of the game when the discrimination toward Robinson was about to make him quit, Pee Wee Reese made an action that no one would see coming. Jackie Robinson was playing First Base and Reese was the shortstop. Before the inning would begin, Reese walked across the field toward Robinson in front of the thousands of fans. Reese walked up next to Robinson, put his arm around him and said that everything would be ok and to just play the game. This would stun both teams on the field and the public as well. 
This action of friendship and belief from Reese towards Robinson was one that would be in the history books forever. It was a monumental moment in baseball, American and African American history. In a time in the United States when the country was segregated, baseball would be a relief for Americans. In its own way, this action by two great baseball players would let the country know that African Americans should be treated equal. This monumental moment is rightfully enshrined by a statue of the two with their arms around each other. The statue is in Brooklyn, New York outside of the Brooklyn Cyclones Minor League Stadium

Sources

http://www.brooklyncyclones.com/mcupark_mega/visit/statue/ Movie: 42 (A biography of Jackie Robinson's career)

Address
1904 Surf Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11224
Tags
  • African American History
  • Cultural History
  • Sports History
This location was created on 2014-12-12 by Tim Bancells .   It was last updated on 2014-12-12 by Unknown

This entry has been viewed 1136 times within the past year

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