YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Mike Shuba appeared at the statue of his father and Jackie Robinson after it was lowered on to its pedestal early this morning, and became emotional.
The bronze statue in Wean Park depicts his father, Youngstown native George “Shotgun” Shuba, shaking hands with the baseball legend who cracked the skilled game’s coloration barrier. The moment arrived as Robinson approached household plate soon after hitting a residence operate, and has considering that been immortalized as a tribute to racial harmony.
For Shuba, the scene has constantly been a element of his life, and observing the statue getting installed about an hour immediately after dawn introduced on a flood of reminiscences.
“I imagined about my father,” Shuba explained, as he stood at the memorial this morning. “All that time we invested on the street traveling throughout the place, conversing [to organizations and children] about what this instant represents.
“I was fired up to see this historical celebration occurring in Youngstown, Ohio. It was pretty emotional to see it put in put these days.”
George “Shotgun” Shuba died in 2014. Robinson died in 1972.
Marc Mellon, the Connecticut sculptor who developed and forged the 7-foot statue, was also on hand for Friday’s set up. The installation was a very long time coming for Mellon, who worked on it for two yrs.
The statue, he explained, signifies background – but also considerably extra. Mellon is wanting ahead to looking at the role it will engage in in the upcoming.
“As awesome as it was to see it set in its location right now, when persons see it with kids all around it, and they see the authentic mutual regard and admiration [the ball players had for each other]… It exhibits us the way,” Mellon stated.
The statue depicts a moment that took put 75 yrs back – April 18, 1946 – for the duration of a video game between the Montreal Royals, a slight league affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and a staff from Jersey City, N.J. It was Robinson’s initial at-bat as a skilled player. As he approached dwelling plate right after hitting a three-operate house operate, only George Shuba, the on-deck batter, extended his hand in congratulations.
It was a time of pronounced racial discrimination and animosity. A photograph of the moment grew to become legendary and dubbed “the handshake of the century.”
The $400,000 statue will be formally focused on July 17, at the get started of the Youngstown Point out University Summer Festival of the Arts in Wean Park, which is adjacent to Covelli Centre, downtown. Soon after it was installed this early morning utilizing a significant crane, the statue was coated up with a tarp to await its unveiling.
The piece of art is the centerpiece of an area that includes seating, plaques, lighting and landscaping. Do the job continues to be to be accomplished at the area, but it will be finish by July 17.
Kate Spires of BSHM Architects, Youngstown, built the location around the statue. The firm donated its services to the challenge.
With a few rows of seating perched on a little hill driving the statue, the monument location is reminiscent of a baseball stadium. It’s meant to be a position where by visitors and college students can linger to contemplate the handshake.
A circular place surrounding the base of the statue pedestal will be concluded with red clay “infield dirt” – the identical kind that is utilised in specialist baseball parks. Spires mentioned it will also assistance the h2o drainage program.
Lighting will be inset all around the base of the statue to “up light” the do the job of artwork, Spires mentioned. Lighting fixtures are also inlaid into the concrete seating, and the entire space will bathed in light-weight from fixtures mounted on two poles, Spires explained.
The space will be concluded with drought-proof perennial crops.
A plaque bearing the narrative of the minute, and quotations from both equally Robinson and Shuba, will be mounted on a concrete composition to 1 aspect.
Mike Shuba, who life in the Mahoning Valley, is happy of the statue and its environs.
“This is a entire world-class layout in this article,” he mentioned. “It’s one particular of the nicest Jackie Robinson statue web-sites, and it will be a superb place to replicate on the second, to teach about doing the suitable factor.”
Pictured: Mike Shuba, son of George “Shotgun” Shuba, and sculptor Marc Mellon sit at the base of the statue in Wean Park. Mellon developed the statue, which depicts the famed handshake between “Shotgun” Shuba, a Youngstown indigenous, and Jackie Robinson.
Copyright 2021 The Small business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.