Scrappers Will Commemorate ‘A Handshake for the Century’

NILES, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers’ Aug. 19 game at Eastwood Field will be “A Handshake for the Century” night.

The promotion will honor former Dodgers baseball player George “Shotgun” Shuba, a Youngstown native, who famously shook the hand of Jackie Robinson, the first Black professional baseball player, after he hit a home run. The handshake was a bold move in that era of racial prejudice. A photographer captured it, and it was later brought to life as a statue that now stands in Youngstown’s Wean Park.

On “Handshake” day, Scrappers players will wear specialty uniforms created by local graphic artist Michael Pontikos. The jerseys and hats will later be auctioned off with proceeds going to both the Robinson and Shuba families.

In addition to the specialty jerseys, Shuba’s son, Mike Shuba, will throw out the first pitch and will have a display of memorabilia. The first 250 fans will receive a commemorative poster featuring the “A Handshake for the Century” statue.

Tickets for the game are on sale now at and the Chevy All-Stars Box Office at Eastwood Field, or by calling 330 505 0000. The game starts at 7:05 p.m.

Pictured at top: Onlookers applaud as the “A Handshake for the Century” statue is unveiled in Youngstown’s Wean Park in 2021.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.