NEW YORK — Lengthy dreamed about and underneath building for longer than the massive league profession of the person it honors, the Jackie Robinson Museum opened Tuesday in Manhattan with a gala ceremony attended by the 100-year-old widow of the barrier-breaking ballplayer and two of his kids.
Rachel Robinson, who turned 100 on July 19, watched the half-hour outside celebration from a wheelchair within the 80-degree warmth, then lower a ribbon to cap a challenge launched in 2008.
Her 72-year-old daughter, Sharon, additionally seemed on from a wheelchair and 70-year-old son David spoke to the group of about 200 sitting on folding chairs arrayed in a closed-off part of Varick Avenue, a significant thoroughfare in decrease Manhattan the place the 19,380-square-foot museum is positioned.
“The problems in baseball, the problems that Jackie Robinson challenged in 1947, they’re nonetheless with us,” David Robinson mentioned. “The indicators of white solely have been taken down, however the complexity of equal alternative nonetheless exists.”
Rachel Robinson introduced the museum on April 15, 2008, the 61st anniversary of Jackie breaking the massive league colour barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Discipline. Robinson turned NL Rookie of the Yr, the 1949 NL batting champion and MVP, a seven-time All-Star and a World Collection champion in 1955. He hit .313 with 141 homers and 200 stolen bases in 11 seasons and was elected to the Corridor of Fame in 1962.
Robinson, who died in 1972, had an affect past baseball, galvanizing a big slice of American public opinion and boosting the civil rights motion.
“There’s nowhere on the globe the place dream is hooked up to our title — or our nation’s title,” New York Metropolis Mayor Eric Adams mentioned. “There’s not a German dream. There’s not a French dream. There’s not a Polish dream. Darn it, there’s an American dream. And this man and spouse took that dream and compelled America and baseball to say you are not going to be a dream on a bit of paper, you are going to be a dream in life. We’re higher due to No. 42 and since he had wonderful spouse that understood that dream and imaginative and prescient.”
A gala dinner was held Monday evening to preview the museum, which comprises 350 artifacts, together with taking part in gear and artifacts similar to Robinson’s 1946 minor league contract for $600 a month and his 1947 rookie contract for a $5,000 wage. The museum additionally holds a set of 40,000 photographs and 450 hours of footage.
A 15-piece band performed on the ceremony, attended by former pitcher CC Sabathia, former NL president Len Coleman and former Mets proprietor Fred Wilpon together with gamers’ affiliation head Tony Clark and Corridor of Fame president Josh Rawitch.
“With out him, there could be no me,” Sabathia mentioned. “I would not have been capable of dwell out my dream of taking part in Main League Baseball.”
Yankees common supervisor Brian Cashman, director Spike Lee (carrying a Brooklyn Dodgers cap) and former tennis star Billie Jean King additionally have been readily available.
“It looks as if we’re extra divided than ever,” King mentioned. “Individuals like Jackie Robinson was a terrific reminder each single morning, each single night that we now have to do the best factor daily.”
Unique projections had a 2010 opening and $25 million price. The Nice Recession brought about a delay.
Floor lastly was damaged on April 27, 2017, when the Jackie Robinson Basis mentioned it had raised $23.5 million of a deliberate $42 million and the museum was supposed to open in 2019. The pandemic brought about extra delays, and the whole raised has risen to $38 million, of which $2.6 million was contributed by New York Metropolis.
Tickets will price $18 for adults and $15 for college kids, seniors and youngsters when the museum opens to the general public on Sept. 5. The second ground consists of an training heart, a part of a plan envisioned by Rachel Robinson.
“She needed a hard and fast tribute to her husband, the place individuals might come and find out about him, but additionally be impressed,” mentioned basis president Della Britton, who headed the challenge. “We wish to be that place, as younger individuals now say, a protected house, the place individuals will discuss race and never fear concerning the preliminary backlash that occurs if you say one thing on social media.”
David Robinson mentioned his father would have been proud.
“He was a person who used the phrase ‘we,'” David mentioned. “I believe in the present day Jackie Robinson would say I settle for this honor, however I settle for this honor on behalf of one thing far past my particular person self, far past my household, far past even my race. Jackie Robinson would say do not consider you standing on my shoulders, I consider myself as standing on the shoulders of my mom, who was a sharecropper in Georgia, my grandmother, who was born a slave.”