KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A vandalized marker honoring Jackie Robinson will soon have a new home in Kansas City.
The marker stood in Georgia near the Florida border, identifying Jackie Robinson’s childhood home. The marker was erected in 2001 in Grady County, Georgia, by the historical society and the Jackie Robinson Cairo Memorial Institute, Inc.
The Georgia Historical Society said the sign was damaged by gunfire in February 2021.
“Jackie Robinson was a pioneer in the integration of Major League Baseball and someone whose accomplishments should bring pride to all Americans. This is a shameful act of vandalism that unfortunately has been carried out against several other markers that commemorate Civil Rights figures, in Georgia and beyond,” Erroll B. Davis, Jr., GHS Board member, said at the time of the vandalism.
Local leaders worked with Major League Baseball to replace the marker this week, according to the New York Times.
While a new marker stands, the old one won’t be tossed aside. Instead, the damaged marker will be sent to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.
The museum said the marker will serve as a reminder of the racial issues that America still faces today.
“Georgia is just one incident where we’re seeing this ugliness of hate emerge throughout our country. It happens to have targeted something that’s near and dear to us when we talk about Jackie Robinson,” said Bob Kendrick, president of the museum.
Bringing the marker to Kansas City will be a further reminder of the bold steps Robinson took, playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, just after getting his start for the Kansas City Monarchs two years earlier.
Kendrick and his staff hope to have that marker here by April 15, which would be the 75th anniversary of Robinson’s break major league baseball’s color barrier. Once it gets here, it might stir new enthusiasm and interest in learning about Robinson’s contributions.
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