Robinson-Shuba Statue Gets $15K Donation

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Mahoning Valley Sports Charities has awarded a $15,000 grant to support the creation of the Robinson-Shuba Commemorative Statue in downtown Youngstown.

“This strong show of support brings us closer to putting the Robinson-Shuba statue in place in downtown Youngstown,” said Ernie Brown, a co-chairman of the Robinson-Shuba Commemorative Statue Committee, in a statement. “We’re thrilled that leaders of Mahoning Valley Sports Charities understand the important message this statue will deliver about racial equality and unity and our community’s long-standing support of those principles.”

The statue will portray the April 18, 1946, home plate handshake between Jackie Robinson, who broke Major League Baseball’s race barrier a year later, and George Shuba, a Youngstown native. As teammates on the Montreal Royals, the handshake happened after Robinson hit a homer. After no teammates went to congratulate Robinson, Shuba – who was in the on-deck circle – stepped up to shake Robinson’s hand as he crossed home.

Plans call for the statue to be dedicated April 18, 2021, on the 75th anniversary of the handshake. It will be placed in Wean Park between the Covelli Centre and Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre.

It will be nearly seven feet tall, not including the statue’s base. Sculpting it will be Marc Mellon, a Connecticut-based artists whose works have been honored by Presidents George H.W. Bush and Barack Obama, Pope John Paul II and many athletes. It will be cast at Beddi-Maky Art Foundry in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The fundraising committee has collected more than $140,000 of the $400,000 goal. More information about the project and how to donate can be found at

Pictured at top: Sculptor Marc Mellon works on a larger-than-life model of Jackie Robinson that will be used to cast the Robinson-Shuba handshake statue, set for dedication in Youngstown next year. At left is a model of the head of George Shuba of Youngstown, Robinson’s teammate with the Montreal Royals. 

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.