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A Jackie Robinson statue was stolen and burned. An MLB donation helps safe one other one

There won’t be a Jackie Robinson statue outside the League 42 youth baseball complex in Wichita, Kan., this season. At least not physically. “It won’t be a physical presence, but it will be a spiritual presence,” League 42 executive director Bob Lutz told The Times in a phone interview Thursday morning. “And we’ll know that

A Jackie Robinson statue was stolen and burned. An MLB donation helps safe one other one

There gained’t be a Jackie Robinson statue exterior the League 42 youth baseball complicated in Wichita, Kan., this season.

At the least not bodily.

“It gained’t be a bodily presence, however it will likely be a non secular presence,” League 42 government director Bob Lutz instructed The Instances in a cellphone interview Thursday morning. “And we’ll know that in the end we’ll have that statue again.”

A bronze statue honoring Robinson that had stood exterior the nonprofit youth baseball group’s enjoying facility since 2021 was stolen final week. Elements of it had been discovered within the stays of a trash can fireplace seven miles away Tuesday morning, the day earlier than the sports and civil rights icon would have turned 105.

Lutz has vowed that an equivalent alternative will ultimately stand in the identical place, however stated it might take roughly six months for that to occur. He stated the unique statue price the league $41,500 and estimated {that a} new one would price $50,000.

As well as, Lutz stated, the league plans to spend an extra $50,000 or so for elevated safety that would come with extra cameras, higher lighting and “landscaping that’ll be designed to maintain individuals possibly from getting access to the place a truck can again up and cargo the statue.”

“We wanna maintain these issues from taking place once more,” he stated.

All that remains of a bronze statue of Jackie Robinson in a Wichita, Kansas, park is his shoes.

All that continues to be of a bronze statue of Jackie Robinson in a Wichita, Kan., park is the groundbreaking baseball participant’s footwear after the remainder of the piece was stolen final week.

(Travis Heying / Related Press)

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A statue of baseball legend Jackie Robinson at Wichita's McAdams Park.

A statue of Jackie Robinson was erected in Wichita’s McAdams Park in 2021.

(Mel Gregory / Related Press)

Donations have been pouring in to assist with the hassle. Along with a GoFundMe page that has raised almost $180,000, Lutz stated Main League Baseball and its golf equipment are making a “beneficiant” donation to League 42.

“The statue is the motivation for his or her donation, however their cash will not be straight going towards the alternative of the statue,” Lutz stated.

MLB didn’t reply to questions from The Instances for this story.

Robinson grew up in Pasadena and performed numerous sports activities at UCLA. He turned the first Black player in modern Major League Baseball history when he signed with the Dodgers in 1947. Quite a few monuments and statues honoring Robinson stand in Southern California.

The Rose Bowl and UCLA instructed The Instances in emailed statements Wednesday that there have been no incidents or suspicious exercise involving the Robinson statues or monuments at their places and that these websites stay beneath shut watch. On Wednesday, the Rose Bowl celebrated Robinson’s one hundred and fifth birthday at his statue outside of the historic venue in Pasadena.

“The Rose Bowl Stadium was saddened and angered to study of the inexcusable act of vandalism to the Jackie Robinson statue in Kansas final week,” the venue stated in a press release emailed to The Instances.

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League 42’s Robinson statue was minimize off on the ankles and stolen within the early morning of Jan. 25. Police stated two individuals had been seen on surveillance video dragging the statue to a truck, which was later recovered by investigators. On Tuesday morning, burned items of the statue had been discovered within the stays of a trash can fireplace in Garvey Park.

Wichita Police Division spokesperson Andrew Ford described the unique statue honoring Robinson as “not salvageable” throughout a information convention Tuesday. Ford stated that greater than 100 individuals have been interviewed as a part of the investigation.

“There can be arrests, however we’re going to ensure that after we do, we could have a stable case,” Wichita Police Chief Joe Sullivan stated on the information convention.

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