Major League Baseball Gifts $40,000 Toward Replacing Vandalized Jackie Robinson Memorial

Major League Baseball has rededicated Jackie Robinson’s birthplace marker after it was vandalized last year.

The Georgia Historical Society, in collaboration with Major League Baseball and the Jackie Robinson Cairo Memorial Institute, has dedicated two historical markers at the birthplace of baseball’s first Black man to play in the Major Leagues.

After the original memorial was vandalized by gunfire last year in Georgia, officials replaced the marker at Robinson’s birthplace (located at County Route 154 in Cairo). A new duplicate historical marker is now located at the Roddenbery Memorial Library in downtown Cairo.

“We are grateful for the Georgia Historical Society and their efforts to preserve the birthplace marker of Jackie Robinson in Cairo,” Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a written statement. “We hope this historic monument will continue to serve as an example of a life filled with courage and strength for generations of young people.”

Major League Baseball gifted $40,000 to the Georgia Historical Society, allowing the organization to replace the damaged marker. The funds also allowed the Society to create an endowment fund in his memory.

The damaged original marker will be displayed at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, adding to Robinson’s legacy.

Raymond Doswell, vice president and curator of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, stated, “The Georgia Historical Society reached out to [NLBM] asking if we would be willing to showcase the damaged marker as an educational tool and teach people not only about Jackie Robinson but hopefully an educational tool that could help mend the gaps of hate that are in our country. We accepted.”

Last summer, Hess Corp. announced that it was giving a $1.4 million grant to the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) as part of its longstanding commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The grant will include $1 million to support the new Jackie Robinson Museum being built in New York City. The museum will serve as a venue to provide innovative educational programming and dialogue on critical social issues.

The rest of the remaining $400,000 from the Hess Corp will provide four-year scholarships and support services as part of the JRF Scholarship Program to five underrepresented college students. The scholarship program is typically awarded to outstanding high school graduates who plan to earn a baccalaureate degree from an accredited, four-year college or university.