Vandalized Jackie Robinson Plaque to Be Displayed at Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 31, 2022

FILE - Jackie Robinson, infielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers, swings his bat in this action pose at Ebbett's Field in Brooklyn, N.Y., on May 9, 1951. A plaque honoring baseball legend Jackie Robinson that was vandalized in Georgia is coming to Kansas City's Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to be put on display. The sign was erected in 2001 outside the birthplace of Robinson near Cairo, Georgia. Community members there discovered last year that someone had shot the plaque multiple times. (AP Photo File)
AP Photo File

A Jackie Robinson plaque that was vandalized with bullet holes last year will be displayed at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, per Matti Gellman of the Kansas City Star.

The president of the museum, Bob Kendrick, explained the decision on Twitter:

Bob Kendrick @nlbmprez

Defaced marker honoring Jackie Robinson coming home to the NLBM to remind us of the courage he demonstrated 75 yrs ago when he broke ⁦<a href="https://twitter.com/MLB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLB</a>’s color barrier. MLB replaced the damaged marker. <a href="https://twitter.com/JPosnanski?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Jposnanski</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/vgregorian?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@vgregorian</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/KSHB41?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KSHB41</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/kmbc?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@kmbc</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/KCTV5?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@KCTV5</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/fox4kc?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@fox4kc</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Royals?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Royals</a> RT <a href="https://t.co/0KFTi3U2kP">https://t.co/0KFTi3U2kP</a>

The sign was first placed near Robinson's birthplace of Cairo, Georgia, in 2001 as part of a set of historical markers honoring Black Georgians. In February 2021, it was one of multiple markers riddled by bullets.

The assailants reportedly used a shotgun and pistol to damage the Robinson sign.

A second sign was built to replace the damaged one thanks in part to a $40,000 donation from Major League Baseball.

"We want to make sure it's something that stands forever," April Brown, vice president of social responsibility for MLB, told James Wagner of the New York Times

"Sometimes people do look at things as, 'Oh, it's just a physical signage.' But what it represents is how we can empower the community and audiences around social justice, and to empower and lift up those who fought for rights for all."

While the new sign was installed in Georgia last week, the original plaque will be permanently loaned to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. It is expected to be shown publicly in mid-April when the museum celebrates the 75th anniversary of Robinson’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.