YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Robinson-Shuba Commemorative Statue was unveiled at Wean Park in downtown Youngstown on Saturday.
The dedication memorializes “A Handshake for a Century” when Youngstown native George “Shotgun” Shuba shook hands with Jackie Robinson, making it the first handshake of Black and white players on a professional baseball diamond.
Project leaders, including George Shuba’s son Mike, hope to inspire better relations among people of different racial backgrounds.
“And now here to see this statue, knowing it’s going to do this forever, I told my father today he had a double header, but after this he can rest and I rest assured that will carry on his legacy forever,” Shuba said.
The handshake and the statue to commemorate it has gained national attention.
The original unveiling was planned for April 18, which was the 75th anniversary of the handshake. However, due to the pandemic, they decided to reschedule.
The artist, Marc Mellon lives in Connecticut and made an appearance on Sunday for its debut.
“I love the heartlands. I do a lot of projects in the Midwest and I do projects coast to coast. So, everyone’s welcomed me with a warm Youngstown welcome,” Mellon said.