Home / News / Destroyed Jackie Robinson statue to be rebuilt at Colorado foundry – Chicago Tribune

Destroyed Jackie Robinson statue to be rebuilt at Colorado foundry – Chicago Tribune

a bronze statue baseball legend Jackie Robinson Stolen and destroyed in Kansas, the work will be remade at an art foundry in Colorado after national support.

A statue of Robinson, Major League Baseball’s first black player in the 20th century, was stolen from a youth baseball league complex at McAdams Park in Wichita, Kansas, on January 25, when it was slashed at the ankles.

The statue’s charred remains were found in a different park on Tuesday morning and could not be recovered. According to the Associated Press. No arrests were made in the case.

Wichita police have not released a possible motive for the incident, but Chief Joe Sullivan said at a Jan. 26 press conference that he was disturbed that the statue was stolen just days before the start of Black History Month.

“We’re not making the connection, but we’re certainly not ruling it out,” Sullivan said.

League 42Named after Robinson’s jersey number with the Brooklyn Dodgers, it was founded in 2013 to give kids in urban areas a chance to play baseball without the high costs of recreational leagues.

For $30 per player or sibling family, League 42 provides jerseys and gear to kids ages 5 to 14 and has grown to 600 players on 44 teams.

A bronze statue of legendary baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson was stolen from a park in Wichita, Kan., in the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. The statue, valued at $75,000, was the centerpiece of the League 42 ballpark facility. A baseball league was founded in 2015 to help children with limited access to organized sports. (Travis Heying/Wichita Eagle via AP)

When executive director Bob Lutz walked outside the league office on the afternoon of Jan. 25 and noticed the statue was missing, he called another employee to make sure what he saw was real.

“I felt anger, devastation and sadness,” Lutz said. “My immediate reaction was I didn’t know if I could keep doing this.”

The statue was a symbol of the 42nd League and also had personal significance for Lutz; It was created by his late friend. sculptor John ParsonsDied in 2022.

“We were heartbroken to lose the statue but for me personally it was a real blow knowing how I worked with John to make this happen,” he said.

In the days following the theft, the 42nd League received an outpouring of support nationally, including from MLB itself.

The MLB commissioner’s office and 30 clubs allocated funds to replace the statue. Lutz said in a post on X.

Crowdfunding campaign launched for League 42 Raised more than $180,000This will fund the replacement of the statue and increased security. Lutz said the money will also fund the league’s training initiatives and facility improvements such as new lights and artificial turf.

“This money flowing from across America will help us in many ways, and we are proud of the response we have received,” he said.

A bronze statue of Jackie Robinson was stolen and destroyed from a youth baseball complex in Wichita, Kansas, on January 25, 2024.  (Courtesy of League 42)
A bronze statue of Jackie Robinson was stolen and destroyed from a youth baseball complex in Wichita, Kansas, on January 25, 2024. (Courtesy of League 42)

The statue was created on: Colorado Art CastingsThere is a bronze foundry in Loveland and it will be recast there in the coming months.

General Manager Tony Workman said the foundry typically keeps molds for up to two years, but luckily Parson’s mold was still in storage.

Workman said the foundry produces about 60 life-size or larger pieces a year, in addition to hundreds of tabletop sculptures.



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