It’s Robinson-Shuba Day in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Today is Robinson-Shuba day in the city of Youngstown by proclamation of Mayor Jamael Tito Brown.

It was on April 18, 1946 that Youngstown native George Shuba shook the hand of Jackie Robinson, who on that day became the first Black player in the modern minor leagues, playing for the Montreal Royals.

Robinson hit a three-run homer in his debut game. When he rounded third base and saw that neither of the two teammates who scored ahead of him were waiting at home plate to shake his hand, Shuba, the on-deck batter, stepped up to shake Robinson’s hand just as he crossed home.

It marked an iconic moment in American history. 

In 2021, the larger-than-life bronze statue portraying Robinson and Shuba shaking hands was installed and dedicated in Wean Park downtown. The statue was financed by a $450,000 fundraising campaign that drew support from across the Mahoning Valley and beyond, with an Oregon philanthropist, the Marie Lamfrom Charitable Foundation, providing the largest donation.   

States the proclamation, “Mr. Shuba, in discussing the historic handshake, stated many times that his. Upbringing in Youngstown shaped his mindset to appreciate people from all races and ethnic backgrounds.”

Brown signed the proclamation Friday.

Pictured at top: Youngstown Mayor Jamael Tito Brown (center) recognizes the Robinson-Shuba handshake anniversary with Ernie Brown (left), former regional editor at The Vindicator, and Mike Shuba, son of the late George Shuba. Brown and Shuba helped lead the effort to build the statue in Wean Park in 2021.  

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.