The Jackie Robinson Memorial
Stealing Home: The Point of No Return
This dynamic monument to Jackie Robinson stands just outside one of the main entrances to Dodger Stadium. The sculpture captures Robinson in the dynamic act of stealing home plate. The act was both real and symbolic; it required focused determination, courage and precise timing—synergistic qualities that were also present when the color barrier was finally broken in Major League Baseball, heralding a new era. Paying homage to this act of stealing home is a deliberate nod to Jackie Robinson’s daily battle to assume his rightful place, to assert his presence on a highly protected and contested destination in a forceful yet measured manner.
The visual syntax of the granite base upon which he rests consists of three Robinson quotes, which are inscribed on three sides of the base: “A life is not important except for the impact it has on other lives”; “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me … All I ask is that you respect me as a human being”; and “There’s not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.” Just as the sculpture presents new details of the man from different angles, so, too, does each quotation reveal, in a concise manner, a new dimension to Jackie Robinson. The perimeter content is uniquely Jackie Robinson; it is his signature, his words, his ideas—no less significant a contribution to American culture than his athletic prowess.
Taken together, the sculpture and its inscribed base invite the viewer to remember Jackie Robinson not only as a beloved baseball player, but also as an intentional and dedicated civil rights activist.
Listed below are some of the resources, talented individuals and groups who each had a hand in helping to birth this memorial:
"I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson" by J. Robinson
"Jackie Robinson: An Intimate Memoir" by Rachel Robinson
"The Jackie Robinson Story" by A. Green,1950, 76 min.
"42" by B. Helgeland, 2013, 128 min.
"Ken Burns: Jackie Robinson" by K. Burns, 2016, 240 min.
The Robinson Family
The Dodgers Organization
Janet Marie Smith
The Dodgers Foundation
Mia + Lehrer & Associates
Nabih Yousseff Associates
Cleveland Marble & Mosaic Company
Crane Rental Service
Akin Gump LLP
There are, surely, many more people involved, both seen and unseen, whom I've, no doubt, left off this list. If there are any omissions, they are an oversight on my part and not a reflection of the immense gratitude I feel.