By Jon Weisman
A statue of Jackie Robinson, approximately nine to ten feet tall, will be unveiled at Dodger Stadium in 2016 at a location to be determined.
California-based sculptor Branly Cadet will create the Robinson statue, which will be followed in the future by other such pieces, according to Dodger president and CEO Stan Kasten.
“The Dodgers have a rich history of breaking barriers, and it all began with Jackie Robinson in 1947,” Kasten said. “Therefore, it is altogether fitting that our first statue at Dodger Stadium be of Jackie. The class that Jackie exhibited while still performing at the highest level made everything that has happened since not only in baseball, but in many respects throughout American society, possible. It is with great humility and joy that the Dodgers launch this project in concert with Rachel Robinson and the Jackie Robinson Foundation. We know Branly Cadet’s artistry will result in a tribute to Jackie that will resonate with Dodger fans for decades to come.”
Cadet studied figurative sculpture at the New York Academy of Art, Arts Student League, and the Vaugel Sculpture Studio and L’Ecole Albert Defois in France. Cadet won the prestigious James Wilbur Johnston National Figure Sculpture Competition and has completed several private and public commissions.
“We’re thrilled that the Dodgers will honor Jack with the inaugural statue at Dodger Stadium,” said Rachel Robinson, wife of Jackie Robinson and founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. “Branly Cadet’s excitement for the project is heartening, and I look forward to the unveiling with great enthusiasm.”
According to the Dodgers, Cadet, who lived in Brooklyn before settling in Oakland, is creating the Robinson piece around the theme, “Leveling the Playing Field.” Cadet’s previous works include the William Shakespeare medallion at the former Booth Theatre site in New York City, and the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Memorial in front of the New York State Office Building in New York City. He is also currently working on a privately funded large-scale monument for the City of Philadelphia.
“I am so honored to have the opportunity to design a sculpture memorial to Jackie Robinson for the Los Angeles Dodgers,” Cadet said. “He is an icon of American history being celebrated by a legendary team in a grand city. I’m excited to create a design that is both befitting of this context and pays homage to his legacy as a sports hero and civic leader.”
I think it’s right that Jackie should be the first Dodger statue–and that the Dodgers waited until finally hiring their first African American manager, which would please Robinson no end. By the way, for the next statue, really, if we’re talking about the franchise, only The Vin.
Vin, Sandy, Duke, Big D, Fernando should all get one as well.
As we know Citi Field has the Jackie Robinson Rotunder, which is appropriate since this is the city in which Jackie made his claim to fame. It’s good to read that there will be a statue of him at Dodger Stadium where the team he played for now calls it’s home.