Jackie Robinson, one of New York’s trailblazing sports icons, will have his legacy honored in the city he played in for nearly a decade.
The Jackie Robinson Museum, which opened on Varick Street in Manhattan during a Tuesday ceremony, displays the life of the baseball legend, who broke the sport’s color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Robinson’s family had kept most of his trophies and memorabilia in their Stamford, Connecticut family den as they worked on constructing a space to honor him, the New York Times reported.
The Jackie Robinson Foundation started working on the museum in 2008, and after 14 years, the museum is now complete.
His family hopes that the museum not only reflects Robinson’s personal achievements, but also preserves a “significant” part of history.
“If we don’t have a remembrance of that struggle, we lose touch with a significant period of American history that can help guide us today and it is a tribute to all the people who have taken my mother’s desire and made it happen.” the legend’s son, 70-year-old David Robinson, told The New York Times.
“It was such an important period of history that the museum encapsulates.”
Among Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony attendees were Robinson’s widow Rachel Robinson, who turned 100 earlier in July, Mayor Eric Adams, Billie Jean King and Spike Lee.
Adams lauded Robinson for what he meant to both baseball and American history.
“There’s nowhere on the globe where dream is attached to our name — or our country’s name,” Adams said, according to the Associated Press. “There’s not a German dream. There’s not a French dream. There’s not a Polish dream. Darn it, there’s an American dream.
“And this man and wife took that dream and forced America and baseball to say you’re not going to be a dream on a piece of paper, you’re going to be a dream in life.”
The museum features 4,500 artifacts, 40,000 images and 450 hours of video footage highlighting Robinson’s baseball career and dedication to civil rights.
Visitors will have the opportunity to see Robinson’s Presidential Medal of Freedom, his Brooklyn Dodgers uniform and his 1947 rookie contract with the Dodgers.
“Some of the things we grew up with now have huge historical significance, and the museum is a place for everyone to see it, and much, much more,” David Robinson said to the New York Times.
The museum costs $18 for adults and $15 for children and is set to open to the public on Sept. 5.
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