‘A great sign of unity’: Robinson-Shuba handshake statue to be unveiled this weekend

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – For decades, Mike Shuba, son of the late Youngstown native George “Shotgun” Shuba, has been trying to find a way to honor the famous 1946 handshake between his dad and the great Jackie Robinson.

This Saturday, that dream will finally become a reality with the unveiling of the “Handshake for the Century” statue in Youngstown’s Wean Park (229 E. Front St.), between the Market Street Bridge and the Covelli Centre. The free event will begin at 9 a.m.

“I feel very honored for this to happen here in the city of Youngstown… I hope it will live on for many years to come, long after we’re all gone,” Mike said.

Back in 1946, Robinson hit a home run and George ran out to congratulate him.

George had frequently said that growing up in Youngstown, he played with people of all colors and backgrounds and saw no reason to disrespect his teammate because of the color of his skin.

“I think it’s a great sign of unity and a lot of my father’s upbringing has contributed to the way he treated Jackie Robinson on that day,” Mike said.

Watch the video above to see WYTV anchor/reporter Lindsey Watson’s full interview with Mike, where they talk about his feelings getting closer to Saturday, growing up under George’s influence and more.

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