NYC Jackie Robinson Museum opens to honor baseball and its legacy

Jackie Robinson, one of New York’s pioneering sports icons, will see his legacy honored in the city where he played for nearly a decade.

The Jackie Robinson Museum, which opened on Manhattan’s Varick Street in a ceremony on Tuesday, showcases the life of the baseball legend, who broke the sport’s color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Robinson’s family had kept most of his trophies and mementos in their family den in Stamford, Connecticut, as they worked to build a space to honor him, The New York Times reported.

The Jackie Robinson Foundation began work on the museum in 2008, and after 14 years the museum is now complete.

His family hopes the museum not only reflects Robinson’s personal accomplishments, but also preserves an “important” part of the story.

“If we don’t remember that struggle, we lose touch with an important period in American history that can guide us today and it’s a tribute to all the people who took the desire from my mother and realized it.” the legend’s son, David Robinson, 70, told the New York Times.

Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Archive Bettmann
Jackie Robinson
The museum features 4,500 artifacts preserving the legacy of Jackie Robinson.
AP/Julia Nikhinson
Jackie Robinson
Rachel Robinson – who recently turned 100 – worked hand in hand with her husband throughout the civil rights movement.
AP/Julia Nikhinson

“It was such an important period in history that the museum encapsulates.”

Among those attending Tuesday’s dedication ceremony were Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson, who turned 100 earlier in July, Mayor Eric Adams, Billie Jean King and Spike Lee.

Adams praised Robinson for what he meant to both baseball and American history.

“There is nowhere on the globe where the dream is attached to our name – or the name of our country,” Adams said, according to the Associated Press. “There is no German dream. There is no French dream. There is no Polish dream. Shit, there is an American dream.

Jackie Robinson Museum
The Civil Rights Museum is one of the few in New York.
AP/Julia Nikhinso
Jackie Robinson Museum
The Jackie Robinson Museum will be open to the public on September 5.
AP/Julia Nikhinson

“And this man and woman took that dream and forced America and baseball to say you’re not going to be a dream on a piece of paper, you’re going to be a dream in life.”

The museum features 4,500 artifacts, 40,000 images and 450 hours of video footage highlighting Robinson’s baseball career and dedication to civil rights.

Visitors will have the opportunity to view Robinson’s Presidential Medal of Freedom, his Brooklyn Dodgers uniform and his 1947 rookie contract with the Dodgers.

“Some of the things we grew up with now have enormous historical significance, and the museum is a place where anyone can see that, and so much more,” David Robinson told The New York Times.

The museum costs $18 for adults and $15 for children and is set to open to the public on September 5.

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