A statue of Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play in the major leagues, was unveiled at Dodger Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
That changed months later when the Los Angeles Dodgers general manager, on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Robinson's breaking of the so-called "color-line", attempted to respond to the dearth of black managers by suggesting that perhaps African-Americans were ill-equipped to manage. The statue depicts Robinson stealing home as a rookie with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, a nod to the aggressive baserunning of the six-time All-Star.
Despite the statue rising 77 inches and weighing 700 pounds, the likeness of Robinson is striking in its accuracy.
The life-size statue, which sits in the left field reserve area, is the first statue honoring a former player in the history of Dodger Stadium.
Bowman attended Sunday games at Delorimier Stadium in 1946, where Robinson was part of a powerful Dodgers Triple-A team that won the IL title and the Junior World Series.
My family watched every movie there was about Jackie Robinson.
This week's retrograde is dedicated to Jackie Robinson as well as Larry Doby and others (including Pee Wee Reese) who paved the way for equity in baseball.
"They really wanted me to get the likeness and I assured them I'd be working very hard on that", he said.
"I remember I was shocked at the "Court Martial of Jackie Robinson", which is another movie on why he got court-martialed". The team we are playing against - the Miami Marlins - also looks like a melting pot. He retired after the Dodgers traded him to the rival New York Giants following the 1956 season.
"I've educated my son about Jackie Robinson".
Jackie's success paved the way for more players of color to enter the league the next year, and even more the year after that, and diversity in the league continued to grow.
"If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be in baseball and I wouldn't be working as a player and I wouldn't have this job".
Robinson was also inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
Twenty years ago today, baseball retired Robinson's No. 42, in a dramatic announcement madeat Shea Stadium in NY by Commissioner Bud Selig, who was flanked by Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson; and President Bill Clinton.
He will, like every player in the big leagues Saturday, honor Jackie Robinson by exchanging his usual jersey for one bearing No. 42.
UCLA plays its home games at Jackie Robinson Stadium.