Jackie Robinson Museum Opens in Lower Manhattan – NBC New York

What to Know

  • A museum celebrating the legacy of Jackie Robinson, the civil rights icon who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, opened Tuesday.
  • The Jackie Robinson Museum is a 19,380 square foot space that will showcase the life and legacy of the baseball great.
  • The museum is located on Canal and Varick streets in Lower Manhattan.

A museum celebrating the legacy of Jackie Robinson, the civil rights icon who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, opened Tuesday in Manhattan with a host of the baseball great’s family members, other athletes, celebrities and politicians in attendance.

The Jackie Robinson Museum is a 19,380 square foot space that will showcase the life and legacy of the icon.

Located on Canal and Varick streets — near Holland Tunnel — in Lower Manhattan, the museum builds upon the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s mission by educating the public around the legacy of Jackie Robinson and the ideals and values that defined his life.

Some of Jackie Robinson’s team jersey, trophies and photos, among other momentos, will be on display.

Jackie Robinson was born in Georgia in 1919 to a family of sharecroppers, according to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

This humble beginning in Georgia would shape Robinson, who would go on to be the first baseball player to break Major League Baseball’s color barrier that segregated the sport for more than 50 years. During his baseball career, he would go on to be named Rookie of the Year in 1947, Most Valuable Player in 1949, and a World Series Champion with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955.

Jackie Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, five years after retiring from the game. In 1997, on the 50th anniversary of breaking the color barrier in the Major Leagues, his number “42” was retired throughout baseball.

However, his contributions were not solely in the sports world. Jackie Robinson also became the first African American vice president of a fortune 500 company, a political advisor and a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement.

“On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play Major League Baseball in the modern era. He would later become the first African American named a vice president at a fortune 500 company; serve as an advisor to politicians; start a bank and a housing development company; and, was a key figure in advancing equal opportunity and first-class citizenship for all Americans during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s,” the Jackie Robinson Foundation notes. 

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