Remembering Shuba at ‘A Handshake for the Century’ statue on anniversary of his death

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There is a special statue in downtown Youngstown to commemorate the “Handshake for the Century.” Wednesday marks seven years since Shuba’s death, and his son says his legacy lives on every day.

On the anniversary of his father’s death, which was September 29, 2014, Michael Shuba decided to pay a visit to his dad’s statue near Wean Park in downtown Youngstown.

“I wanted to bring down some posters for any kids or anybody that comes down during lunch time. I’m going to be passing them around free for everybody,” Michael said.

The poser is a printout of a 2006 New York Times article printed the day after the anniversary of George ‘Shotgun’ Shuba shaking Jackie Robinson’s hand after Robinson hit a home run in 1946.

When First News was there Wednesday, two women came by — one from Youngstown and another who considers herself a transplant.

Michael told them the story of his father shaking Jackie Robinson’s hand after he hit a home run. At the time, it was unheard of for that to happen.

“It’s important to carry on the remembrance of this moment to let the people know what George and Jackie represented and how they showed America that America was maturing,” Michael said.

He says he would love to do field trips to the statue with local schools to teach children about what the “Handshake for the century” means.

“For many years, me and my father traveled across the country to schools and organizations, and I passed out many posters during that time,” Michael said.

Michael visits the statue often and says he thinks his dad wouldn’t believe that this is happening.

“I told him in the ’90s that I was going to try my best to immortalize him in this moment to show the world the principle man behind George ‘Shotgun’ Shuba,” he said.

Michael thanks the city of Youngstown for the world-class monument, and he knows his dad and Jackie would be proud of it.

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