The story of the Robinson-Shuba handshake is enjoying national exposure again with the posting of stories today by ESPN and its affiliate, The Undefeated.
Both stories feature interviews with Youngstown-area individuals who led the movement to raise more than $400,000 for the Robinson-Shuba Commemorative Statue, which will be unveiled in Wean Park this summer. Those quoted or interviewed include statue project co-chairs Ernie Brown, Herb Washington and Greg Gulas, as well as Mike Shuba, son of George “Shotgun” Shuba, and Derrick McDowell, community engagement and inclusion coordinator for the Wean Park Complex.
The ESPN story of more than 7 minutes also includes video of the statue being cast in Brooklyn, N.Y., along with an interview with sculptor Marc Mellon of Connecticut.
The Robinson-Shuba statue will celebrate the handshake of Shuba, a Youngstown native, and baseball superstar Jackie Robinson on April 18, 1946, when they were teammates for the Montreal Royals, a minor league affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson had just hit a three-run homer in his debut game as the first black player in the formerly all-white minor leagues, and Shuba was the first to congratulate him at home plate.
Here’s the ESPN Sports Center segment on the handshake.
ESPN visited Youngstown in late February to collect footage and interviews for the stories.
The ESPN coverage follow stories last year by CBS Sunday Morning and Sports Illustrated. The September CBS story sparked a donation of $175,000 from the Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation in Oregon that completed the fundraising for the statue.
More information about the statue and handshake can be found at www.robinsonshuba.org.
Photo caption: The 7-minute ESPN story includes footage shot in Youngstown in February.