The Jackie Robinson Museum honoring the late trailblazing baseball player has finally opened in NYC after 14 years of planning.
According to the Associated Press, the Jackie Robinson Museum opened at One Hudson Square on Varick Street in Lower Manhattan. It opened with a gala ceremony celebrating Jackie’s legacy and was attended by his widow, Rachel Robinson, and their children, Sharon (72) and David (70), on July 26. Rachel turned 100 on July 19 and watched the 30-minute ceremony from her wheelchair.
Other attendees included iconic Oscar Award-winning director Spike Lee and New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
“The issues in baseball, the issues that Jackie Robinson challenged in 1947, they’re still with us. The signs of white only have been taken down, but the complexity of equal opportunity still exists,” David said at the celebration.
The 19,380-square-foot NYC museum honoring his father’s legacy reportedly cost a whopping $38 million. It includes 4,500 artifacts, including Jackie’s 1946 minor league contract for $600 a month and his 1947 rookie contract for a $5,000 salary.
In April 2008, Rachel previously announced the museum on the 61st anniversary of Jackie breaking the major league color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers. At the time, the Dodgers were based in the legendary Ebbets Field, formerly located in Brooklyn’s now-largely Afro-Caribbean and Jewish hub, Crown Heights.
Jackie became NL Rookie Of The Year in 1947, the NL batting champion and MVP in 1949, and a seven-time All-Star and a World Series champion in 1955. A few years later, in 1963, he was elected to the Hall Of Fame. In 1972, the ground-breaking baseball legend passed away at 53.
“He was a man who used the word ‘we,'” David proudly said about his late dad. “I think today Jackie Robinson would say I accept this honor, but I accept this honor on behalf of something far beyond my individual self, far beyond my family, far beyond even my race. Jackie Robinson would say don’t think of you standing on my shoulders. I think of myself as standing on the shoulders of my mother, who was a sharecropper in Georgia, my grandmother, who was born a slave.”
The Jackie Robinson Museum is set to open to the public on Sept. 5