Stolen Jackie Robinson Statue Found “Dismantled and Burned” With $75K Worth Of Damage

Stolen Jackie Robinson Statue Found “Dismantled and Burned” With $75K Worth Of Damage

League 42 has announced that its stolen Jackie Robinson statue has been found seriously damaged. The statue, stolen last Wednesday night from the league located at McAdams Park at 17th Street North and Ohio, was found at Garvey Park in south Wichita, “dismantled and burned.” 

 

 

Police reports say the Wichita Fire Department got a call around 8:30am Tuesday morning of a trash can fire at Garvey Park. The fire department put the fire out and found what appeared to be remnants of the Jackie Robinson statue. 

Statue Suffers $75K In Damages 

The Wichita Police Department said the statue is unsalvageable. The statue weighs hundreds of pounds, so damages are estimated at $75,000, according to the City.

“This was a heartbreaking discovery this morning,” Wichita City Council Member Brandon Johnson said. “I hate to see that the statue was not in one piece, but I do want everyone to know that we are undeterred in making sure that that statue gets rebuilt and put back there for our community, for League 42, for the young people. That symbol of hope will only be gone for a short time.”

Now that the statue has been recovered and the worst revealed, Johnson also stressed how important it is to now start the fundraising efforts for a replacement statue. 

“This now lets us know that we need a new statue,” Johnson said. “We’re no longer looking for a complete, intact statue. We know now we need to raise money to replace it, and we will do so.”

He asked people to donate to the fund that League 42 has started. Click here for the GoFundMe site.

“Obviously, this is not the result we wanted, but it is a result, and now we can move on,” Bob Lutz, League 42 founder, said. “We know what’s ahead of us. We know we’re going to incorporate a brand-new statue that looks exactly like the old one.”

 

The Late John Parsons Crafted The Statue

Lutz’s friend, the late John Parsons, crafted the statue.

“Fortunately, the mold from his work is still viable, and the statue that reappears at McAdams Park will be the work of John Parsons,” he said. “In a matter of months, that will be erected at McAdams Park, and we’re looking forward to that day … It’ll be a joyous occasion, unlike today, unlike the past five days. We’re ready for some joy, you know. We’re ready for some happiness, and we’re going to pursue that in the best way we can.”

There were people throughout the baseball community that felt the police weren’t acting quick enough to find the statue and the perpetrators, but Lutz commended the police for the resources they have put into investigating the crime.

“It’s a sad thing that this happened in our community, but I think the way our community is reacting to it could not be better, so we’re going to move forward here and not look back,” he said.

 

Wichita Police Still Searching For Jackie Robinson Statue Thieves 

Wichita Police Chief Joe Sullivan said police are determined to catch the thieves.

“It’s disheartening to see the remnants of the statue, the disgraceful way in which it’s been disrespected,” he said. “But the other side of that is, this is a direct indication of the pressure our investigators are putting on the perpetrators that committed this act.”

 “It would be in your best interest to simply turn yourself in, come forward, admit your part in this, and I’m confident that the DA will consider that. But, either way, we will be arresting several people for what they’ve done to our community.”

Police released surveillance photos and video after the theft. The WPD says investigators with the Property Crimes Bureau worked all weekend, following up on leads. They also got help from the WPD Field Community Response Team.

 

Truck used in Jackie Robinson theft

 

On Monday afternoon, the WPD announced that investigators were able to find and recover the truck they believe was used in the crime. Police would not comment on whether the owner of the truck is a suspect.

MVP Award Winners Ronald Acuna Jr. and Shohei Ohtani Win 2023 Hank Aaron Award

MVP Award Winners Ronald Acuna Jr. and Shohei Ohtani Win 2023 Hank Aaron Award

National League Most Valuable Player Ronald Acuña Jr. of the Atlanta Braves and American League Most Valuable Player Shohei Ohtani, who won the honor for a second time while playing with the Los Angeles Angels, have been named the recipients of the 2023 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues, Major League Baseball announced today.

Following a historic season, Acuña joins Andruw Jones and former teammate Freddie Freeman as Braves to win the award named after franchise icon Hank Aaron who hit 755 career homers.

Two-Way superstar Ohtani joins former teammate Mike Trout as Angels to receive the prestigious honor.

The winners were unveiled on December 16 in Las Vegas, Nevada on MLB Network’s “All-MLB Team Show” presented by MGM Rewards during a presentation featuring Acuña Jr., Mrs. Billye Aaron and Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr.

 

What Is Hank Aaron Award? 

The Hank Aaron Awards recognize the most outstanding offensive performers in each League.  Each Club nominates players to be considered for the Hank Aaron Award, and a panel of MLB.com writers determined nine finalists for each league from the list of Club nominees.

A fan vote is added to the votes of a special panel of Hall of Fame players and former winners to determine the winners of the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball.

The panel includes Hall of Famers Johnny Bench, Craig Biggio, Ken Griffey Jr., Derek Jeter (two-time Aaron Award winner), Chipper Jones, Pedro Martínez, Eddie MurrayDavid Ortiz (two-time Aaron Award winner), John Smoltz and Robin Yount, as well as two-time Aaron Award recipient Albert Pujols.

Ronald Acuna Was A Video Game In 2023

Acuña, in his sixth Major League season, made history in 2023, becoming the first player in Baseball history to record at least 40 home runs and 70 stolen bases in a single season while setting modern-era franchise marks with 149 runs scored, 73 stolen bases and 383 total bases.  En route to his 40/70 season, he became only the fifth player in history to reach at least 40 homers and 40 stolen bases in the same season.

The 25-year-old native of La Guaira, Venezuela established career-highs in nearly every offensive category, including batting average (.337), on-base percentage (.416), OPS (1.012), runs, hits (217), doubles (35), RBI (106), stolen bases, walks (80) and total bases.

 

 

The four-time All-Star became one of seven players in Major League history to collect at least 200 hits, 100 RBI, 145 runs scored and 40 home runs in a single season, joining an impressive list comprised of Hall of Famers Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Chuck Klein, Babe Ruth and Hack Wilson.  Acuña Jr. registered 12 contests with a home run and a stolen base, tying for the second-most in a single season behind only Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson (13 in 1986).

The 2018 Jackie Robinson NL Rookie of the Year Award winner, who led all NL players in fan voting for the All-Star Game for a third straight season, joined Hall of Famers Willie Mays (1957-58) and Henderson (1990) to lead their league in both stolen bases and OPS.

Braves Superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. Joins MLBbros Rickey Henderson, Eric Davis and Kenny Lofton In Rare Feat | He’s Taking It To Next Levels Too

 

Ohtani, also in his sixth Major League season, slugged 44 home runs and registered 95 RBI en route to his second MVP award in three seasons, as well as his third consecutive Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award.

The 29-year-old native of Oshu, Japan also hit .304 with 102 runs scored, 26 doubles, eight triples and 20 stolen bases while leading the AL in on-base percentage (.412), slugging percentage (.654) and OPS (1.066).

Ohtani also paced the AL in homers, total bases (325) and extra-base hits (78).  In June, Ohtani joined Babe Ruth (seven games in 1921) and Barry Bonds (six games in 1997) as the only players in Major League history to record an extra-base hit, walk and run scored in six straight games (June 12th-17th).

For a third straight season, the 2018 Jackie Robinson AL Rookie of the Year Award winner became the only player in the Majors to post at least six triples and 34 home runs.  In addition, Ohtani joined Troy Glaus (47 homers in 2000) as the only Angels players in history to finish a season as the AL home run leader.

 

The two-way star, who was selected to the All-Star Game as both a pitcher and position player for a third consecutive season after finishing as the AL’s leading vote-getter, hit .372 with three doubles, two triples, seven homers and 15 RBI in his 23 games as a starting pitcher.

Together, Acuña and Ohtani became the first duo to win their respective league’s MVP Award in the same season after also winning the Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award in the same season (2018).  Overall, they were the seventh pair of MVP Award winners in a season to have previously won Rookie of the Year at any point.

Past Hank Aaron Award Winners

Aaron Judge and Paul Goldschmidt (2022); Vladmir Guerrero Jr. and Bryce Harper (2021); José Abreu and Freddie Freeman (2020); Mike Trout and Christian Yelich (2019); J.D. Martinez and Christian Yelich (2018); Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Altuve (2017); Kris Bryant and David Ortiz (2016); Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper (2015); Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Trout (2014); Miguel Cabrera and Paul Goldschmidt (2013); Miguel Cabrera and Buster Posey (2012); José Bautista and Matt Kemp (2011); José Bautista and Joey Votto (2010); Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols (2009); Aramis Ramirez and Kevin Youkilis (2008); Alex Rodriguez and Prince Fielder (2007); Derek Jeter and Ryan Howard (2006); David Ortiz and Andruw Jones (2005); Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds (2004); Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols (2003); Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds (2001-02); Carlos Delgado and Todd Helton (2000) and Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa (1999).

Erasing The Past, Burying Inspiration | Florida Counties Remove Hank Aaron & Roberto Clemente Books From School Libraries

 

The Hank Aaron Award was introduced in 1999 to honor the 25th Anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, and, at that time, was the first major award introduced by Major League Baseball in more than 25 years.

Righty Joe Ross Is Back In Business With Milwaukee Brewers | Two Tommy John Surgeries Can’t Knock His Hustle

Righty Joe Ross Is Back In Business With Milwaukee Brewers | Two Tommy John Surgeries Can’t Knock His Hustle

Joe Ross is back in business with the Milwaukee Brewers after finalizing a one-year deal on Tuesday following an exhaustive physical exam to test the health of his twice-surgically repaired right elbow.

Ross, 30, underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017 and again in June 2022 before returning to pitch in the San Francisco farm system late last season.

In between roadblocks he’s been a versatile arm with the ability to perform as a starter or middle reliever. He really stood out in 2021 at 28-years-old as the Nationals braced for the departure of arm to replace legend Max Scherzer, who was on his way out of the door.

 

 

The one-year, “Show Me” deal with no options will earn Ross $1.75 million.

 

The Brew Crew reportedly views Ross as a viable candidate to join the starting rotation. In any event, he’s an innings eater and every contending team needs such a role player.

 

 

 

 

He elected not to play during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, then returned in ‘21 and was 5-9 with a 4.17 ERA in 20 games (19 starts), last appearing on Aug. 10 of that season in relief at the Mets.

Ross has been a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as far as performance is concerned. He’s had flashes of brilliance and he’s never been able to get in a consistent groove for one reason or another. Reaching your maximum performance on the field is hard enough.

Dealing with two major arm surgeries, rehab AND trying to come back and solidify a place in MLB is the ultimate challenge for an athlete.

Joe Ross Can’t Control His Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde Mound Identity Crisis

After Ross’ second elbow reconstruction he signed a Minor League deal with the San Francisco Giants for 2023 and worked through the system, ending the season in Triple-A Sacramento. There’s another melanated mound marauder in the building and he’s looking to stay healthy and keep throwing heat.

Hall of Fame Will Celebrate Black Baseball with East-West Classic Game Memorial Day Weekend

Hall of Fame Will Celebrate Black Baseball with East-West Classic Game Memorial Day Weekend

(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – The greatest legends of Black baseball demonstrated their talents and desire for four decades at the annual Negro Leagues East-West All-Star Game. From Satchel Paige to Cool Papa Bell, these gifted Black Knights took center stage. 

 

What Is The Hall of Fame East-West Classic?

 

The Negro Leagues East-West All-Star Game debuted in 1933 at Chicago’s Comiskey Park and was played annually through 1962, including several years that featured multiple games. Hall of Famer Bill Foster was the winning pitcher in the inaugural East-West All-Star Game and several future Hall of Famers starred in the game throughout the years, including Ray Brown, Andy Cooper, Leon Day, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Jackie Robinson and Willie Wells. 

 

In 2024, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will honor that legacy by hosting the Hall of Fame East-West Classic: A Tribute to the Negro Leagues All-Star Game, presented by Boeing, during Memorial Day Weekend at Cooperstown’s historic Doubleday Field.

 

 

Scheduled for Saturday, May 25, the Hall of Fame East-West Classic will feature more than two dozen former big leaguers, with Ken Griffey Jr. and Ozzie Smith among the Hall of Famers who will serve as the East and West teams’ managers and coaches. 

 

The game, which will take the place of the Hall of Fame Classic in 2024, will be part of a weekend celebration as the Museum opens its new exhibit The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball.

“Memorial Day Weekend will serve as a landmark event within a years-long initiative among the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and our partners to rethink how the stories of Black baseball are told in Cooperstown,” said Josh Rawitch, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “The Souls of the Game exhibit will tell the story of Black baseball through the voices of the men and women who broke barriers and made history on and off the field.”

 

 

The Negro Leagues East-West All-Star Game debuted in 1933 at Chicago’s Comiskey Park and was played annually through 1962.


MLBbro.com  is naturally elated and fully supportive of this turn of events, as our entire platform is dedicated to preserving, highlighting and reporting the history and current triumphs of African-American baseball players. 

 

“We are thrilled to host many of the game’s biggest stars of the last two decades for the Hall of Fame East-West Classic, a tribute to the heroes of Black baseball who showcased their talents for years in the annual Negro Leagues All-Star Game,” continued Rawitch. “The incredible enthusiasm from players participating in this legends game faced their own challenges while helping to build on the diversity that has flowed through our National Pastime for more than a century.”

 

Who Will Be Playing? 

 

Players committed to participate in the May 25 Hall of Fame East-West Classic include team captains CC Sabathia and Chris Young; Josh Barfield, Tim Beckham, Ian Desmond, Prince Fielder, Curtis Granderson, Tony Gwynn Jr., Jerry Hairston, Scott Hairston, LaTroy Hawkins, Ryan Howard, Edwin Jackson, Jeremy Jeffress, Adam Jones, Russell Martin, Tony Sipp, Justin Upton and Dontrelle Willis. 

 

CC Sabathia pitched 19 seasons for the NY Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers. His 251 career wins is tied with “Bullet” Bob Gibson for No. 1 all-time among MLBbro pitchers. With just 161 career losses, CC flosses an ERA of 3.74 with 3,093 strikeouts. The Black Ace won 1 Cy Young award, 1 League Championship MVP award and 1 World Series.

“The East-West All-Star Game was the annual showcase for the Negro Leagues, and we are privileged to be able to honor the legacy of those stars over Memorial Day Weekend in Cooperstown as part of the Hall of Fame’s celebration of Black baseball,” Sabathia tells MLBbro.com. 

“As players, we are indebted to the pioneers who came before us, and recognizing the All-Stars of the Negro Leagues pays tribute not only to their playing ability but also to their courage and devotion to the game.”

 

The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball Exhibit 

 

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has teamed up with Sports Travel and Tours to offer baseball fans a one-stop opportunity to purchase Classic Weekend travel packages. For more information or to plan a trip to Cooperstown, please call 1-888-310-HALL (4255). Membership participants receive a 5% discount on all their baseball travel packages. 

 

Located on the Museum’s second floor in the Yawkey Gallery, The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball will cover stories of early Black baseball, the Negro Leagues era, the complexities of reintegration, Jackie Robinson, post-reintegration progress and retrogress, and calls for change in today’s game while celebrating the newest superstars of the era. Meaningful stories from Black baseball are also being added to other exhibits throughout the Museum.

 

The exhibit is part of the Hall of Fame’s Black Baseball Initiative that includes additional outreach programs, educational materials and virtual programming. 

 

The Souls of the Game, a title that pays tribute to W.E.B. Du Bois’s seminal 1903 book “The Souls of Black Folk”, will explore the Black baseball experience of those men, women and children who were and are an integral part of our National Pastime. 

 

Subtitled “Voices of Black Baseball”, the exhibit will highlight first-person accounts by the many individuals whose experiences shaped them, their community, baseball and America at large. Featuring historically significant artifacts, documents and photographs, and utilizing audio, video, and interactive elements, the exhibit will tell a more inclusive story of baseball, shine a light on and correct misconceptions about Black baseball.

 

For more information about the Museum’s Black Baseball Initiative, click here.