Sat. 4:30 p.m.: Youngstown statue to memorialize 1946 handshake

YOUNGSTOWN –­ What’s in a handshake? If it involves Youngstown and Major League Baseball, it ensures a firm grip on a piece of history.

A larger-than-life statue commemorating the inspiring 1946 handshake of Jackie Robinson, the first African-American Major League Baseball player, and George “Shotgun” Shuba, his white teammate from Youngstown, will inspire better relations among people of different racial backgrounds, say leaders of a group planning to build the statue in downtown Youngstown.

The Economic Action Group, a downtown development advocate and the newly formed Robinson-Shuba Commemorative Statue Committee aim to raise $400,000 to complete the statue and dedicate it on April 18, 2021, the 75th anniversary of what some have called “the handshake of the century” following Robinson’s first home run in mainstream professional baseball.

The idea for the statue originated when Eric Planey, a Youngstown native and former regional chamber vice president who now works as a New York finance executive, was visiting family four years ago in Alexandria, Virginia. He said he had been attending his niece’s softball practice when he met a coach who, coincidentally, also hailed from Youngstown.

Read more in Sunday’s Vindicator.


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