Seventy years later: Brooklyn exhibit honors Jackie Robinson’s breaking of baseball’s color line - Brooklyn Paper

Seventy years later: Brooklyn exhibit honors Jackie Robinson’s breaking of baseball’s color line

Winning: Players from the Grand Street Campus baseball team celebrated the opening of Brooklyn Historical Society's Jackie Robinson exhibition on Wednesday.
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

They hit it out of the park!

The Brooklyn Historical Society opened an exhibition Wednesday to celebrate 70 years since Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier — and one fan said the show will hit a home run in setting an example for kids who aspire to achieve the unthinkable.

“They have a lot of stereotypes about what they can’t do; we should be teaching them what they can do,” said the Rev. Dr. Valerie Oliver-Durrah, a Bedford-Stuyvesant resident who is on the society’s board of trustees. “The exhibit will hopefully encourage kids to know baseball in a different kind of way, seeing what Jackie Robinson did to break the barrier.”

The year-long show features an array of memorabilia, including the Brooklyn Dodgers’ 1955 World Series Championship banner, programs, and photographs — such as a shot of him signing his first Major League contract in 1947 — a picture that Oliver-Durrah found especially moving.

“I liked the one where he signed the contract, it was very significant,” she said.

Oliver-Durrah sported a classic Dodgers jersey and cap for the occasion, and said it was great to see the original cap Robinson wore on display in the exhibit.

The show’s unveiling gave old-timers in attendance a chance to reminisce about watching games at the team’s legendary stadium in Flatbush, and sent some of them perhaps a bit too far down memory lane, Oliver-Durrah thought.

“People lingered to talk about Ebbets Field; I wondered, ‘How are those old folks getting home?’ They just didn’t want to stop!” she said.

The exhibit, titled: “Until Everyone Has It Made: Jackie Robinson’s Legacy,” will be on display on the third floor at the Brooklyn Historical Society, 128 Pierrepont St., Brooklyn Heights, through June 2018.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Dream team: Rev. Dr. Valerie Oliver-Durrah, Ken Daly, Mookie Wilson, Deborah Schwartz, Rudy Wynter, and Borough President Adams couldn’t get enough of the baseball memorabilia.
Photo by Jordan Rathkopf

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