WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Before he became the man who broke baseball’s color barrier, Jackie Robinson was a gifted UCLA Bruin.
UCLA on Saturday unveiled a monument to the late and legedary Robinson on the school’s Westwood campus.
The monument — funded by the Wasserman Foundation and located outside the John Wooden Recreation Center — is a 42-inch bronze number “42” sculpture rising from a bronze base, a tribute to the number 42 Robinson wore for the Brooklyn Dodgers when he broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947.
He helped the Dodgers win six pennants and the 1955 World Series, and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
Before his storied and historic baseball career, Robinson already was a sports legend at UCLA, where he starred in baseball, football, basketball and track and field from 1939 to 1941.
“Jackie is one of us,” UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero said.
“He’s a Bruin. And it’s my hope that through this monument, so generously funded , generations of future Bruins will walk this campus, keeping the legacy of Jackie Robinson in the forefront of both their hearts and their minds.”
Robinson died at age 53 on Oct. 24, 1972, from a heart attack due to complications of diabetes that had robbed him of much of his
The number 42 is officially retired by every major league team in Robinson’s honor. Every year since 2009, on April 15 (the day Robinson broke the color barrier) every major league player, manager and coach wears number 42 for the day.