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Robinson-Shuba statue to be unveiled in the summer

The unveiling and dedication of the statue will take place as part of YSU’s Summer Festival of the Arts.
Robinson-Shuba statue rendering
This rendering by BSHM Architects shows the Youngstown skyline behind the statue site on the east end of Wean Park in downtown Youngstown. (Contributed image)

YOUNGSTOWN — The unveiling and dedication of the Robinson-Shuba Commemorative Statue has been scheduled for July 17 as part of Youngstown State University’s Summer Festival of the Arts in Wean Park. 

The statue, a monument to racial equality, will be unveiled in a ceremony to open the two-day festival, which will take place in Wean Park for the first time. 

"We're excited about unveiling and dedicating this memorial to the historic handshake of Jackie Robinson and George 'Shotgun' Shuba," Ernie Brown, co-chair of the committee that developed the statue, said in a news release. "This beautiful statue will remind generations of people from the Mahoning Valley and beyond that race should never divide us on the baseball field or anywhere else." 

The handshake took place April 18, 1946, after Robinson — the first Black player in modern organized baseball — hit a three-run homer in his debut game with the Montreal Royals. Although neither of the two players who scored on the home run waited for him at home plate, Shuba, of Youngstown, stepped up from the on-deck circle to shake his teammate's hand. That moment, captured in many photographs, was the first interracial handshake on a modern professional baseball field.  

The dedication was originally scheduled for April 18, the handshake's 75th anniversary, but was postponed because of COVID-19. 

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