YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In December, First News told you about plans to bring an iconic statue to Youngstown. That statue is of Valley native George Shuba and Jackie Robinson shaking hands and making history.
Everything is still going according to plan and a life-size sculpture is already in the making.
“I went from this scale to a mid-scale. Now we’ve got half the full sculpture in my studio. The other half will be here in another month,” said Marc Mellon, a well-known sculptor who had the task of turning the iconic picture of the handshake into a 3-D statue.
Valley native George “Shotgun” Shuba shakes the hand of his then teammate Jackie Robinson–for what is widely considered the first time between interracial players in professional sports.
The target completion date is April 18 2021, where the statue will be unveiled in a grassy area outside the Youngstown Amphitheater.
Mellon designs the NBA MVP award trophy, among major other trophies in sports.
Right now, he’s on week one of his life-size sculpting process.
“Over the next four months, I will bring it to be virtually perfect,” Mellon said.
“We still believe and are confident that we will be able to get this project done despite the pandemic,” said Ernie Brown, co-chair of the Robinson-Shuba Commemorative Statue Committee.
The estimated cost is $400,00 and money is still being raised.
Brown notes it’s been more challenging to raise money during the pandemic. Still, Mellon expects a big showing for the statue’s unveiling.
“I expect we’ll have representatives from Jackie Robinson’s own family. We’ll have people from the Dodgers Organization, Major League Baseball,” Mellon said.