Sports Illustrated interviewed George Shuba in 1996 for its story about the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s barrier-smashing 1946 home run while he and George were teammates for the Montreal Royals, a minor league affiliate for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Shuba told SI he remembered vividly the moment he shook Robinson’s hand as the future Hall of Famer crossed home plate after that three-run homer. “You could see it in his face, how happy he was,” Shuba says in the story. “You could see he was just overwhelmed with joy.”

SI writer Brad Herzog called Robinson’s hit “perhaps the most significant home run in baseball history.”

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