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UCLA Unveils Jackie Robinson Monument on Westwood Campus

"The final piece of @UCLA’s campus-wide recognition of Jackie Robinson. #GoBruins" Photo via Twitter/@UCLAAthletics.
“The final piece of @UCLA’s campus-wide recognition of Jackie Robinson. #GoBruins” Photo via Twitter/@UCLAAthletics.

UCLA unveiled a monument to the late Jackie Robinson today 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.

The monument was designed to be a link to each of the in-ground bronze number 42s placed at each entry point to UCLA’s training centers, competition sites and fields.

Before his 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 said to result from the complications of diabetes that had robbed him of much of his eyesight.

His death came just days after he was honored in Cincinnati during the 1972 World Series between the Cincinnati Reds and the Oakland Athletics. During a pre-game ceremony, black and white players and coaches from both teams lined up to pay homage to Robinson for his contributions to the national pastime.

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