YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A project to erect a statue depicting a historic handshake involving Youngstown native George “Shotgun” Shuba and baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson received a large grant.
Supporters of the statue to mark the historic 1946 “Handshake of the Century” received a $25,000 grant from the J. Ford Crandall Foundation.
“We appreciate this grant and the momentum we’re establishing as more people learn about this project and its important message about racial unity,” said Ernie Brown, co-chair of the Robinson-Shuba Commemorative Statue Committee. “Community leaders like the J. Ford Crandall trustees reflect the mindset of Jackie Robinson, George Shuba and many others who believe people from different races should always treat each other with fairness and respect.”
The proposed site for the statue is near the Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre. A dedication is set for April 18, 2021, which will be the 75th anniversary of the handshake.
Since announcing the project in late November, the statue committee has already raised more than $127,000, or nearly a third of its $400,000 goal, mostly through local foundations.
In his very first game on April 18, 1946, as a mainstream professional baseball player, Jackie Robinson, in his second at bat, hits a home run. Youngstown’s “Shotgun” Shuba shakes his hand, a gesture that years later would be symbolic in the effort to better race relations in the United States.