Jackie Robinson is synonomous with the Brooklyn Dodgers having broken the color barrier in 1947 and playing in Brooklyn until 1956. Just 2 years after Robinson retired from baseball, the Dodgers moved west to Los Angeles and baseball was gone from Brooklyn.
In 2001 baseball was back in Brooklyn as the Queens Kings moved to Brooklyn to become the Cyclones. The team plays on Coney Island where on November 1, 2005 a statue of Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson was unveiled.
The statue is a eight foot tall bronze statue of Reese with his arm around Robinson. The statue is of a moment in Cincinnati during Robinson’s first game. As he was being heckled and cursed and called every name in the book, Reese walked across the field with his arm around Robinson.
On the pedestal of the sculpture are six panels and includes an engraved description:
“This monument honors Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese: teammates, friends, and men of courage and conviction. Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, Reese supported him, and together they made history. In May 1947, on Cincinnati’s Crosley Field, Robinson endured racist taunts, jeers, and death threats that would have broken the spirit of a lesser man. Reese, captain of the Brooklyn Dodgers, walked over to his teammate Robinson and stood by his side, silencing the taunts of the crowd. This simple gesture challenged prejudice and created a powerful and enduring friendship.”
The statue sits in front of the Cyclones Stadium MCU Park.
Photos Courtesy of Ismael Nunez