YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – In 15 days, a station honoring the “Handshake of the Century” will be unveiled in Youngstown. Jackie Robinson hit a homerun in a minor league game and Youngstown’s George “Shotgun” Shuba shook Robinson’s hand as he crossed the plate.
Not long after, Robinson broke into the Majors with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Shuba’s gesture endures, making a strong impression on a young girl from Texas.
It’s been 75 years since George Shuba shook hands with Jackie Robinson at home plate, helping to break down the color barrier in baseball.
In 2021, it’s still inspiring.
“Even though that you’re a different color than people, you can still be friends with one another,” said Aubrey Cox.
Aubrey is a seven-year-old from Texas.
She’s a big fan of baseball and started to learn the history of the game.
During the pandemic, her dad started teaching her some of the iconic moments of the game.
“But for some reason, the picture, the handshake of the century, it sort of resonated with her more, that it wasn’t just an iconic moment that can be repeated. It was a once in a lifetime,” said Craig Cox, Aubrey’s dad.
George Shuba passed away in 2014, so Aubrey never got to meet the man they call “Shotgun,” but her dad felt, being so young, Shuba’s message was important.
“And I think, at this age, teaching some of the most important lessons in life, especially what’s going on in society today, there’s so much to pull from. We thought, now was the right time,” Craig said.
Aubrey is half Hispanic, half Caucasian and was adopted by white parents, so the Valley’s native lesson about respect is shown in her own household.
“Even we’re different, but we all love each other and we’re best friends, and that was kind of what’s represented here,” Craig said.
At seven years old, it’s still one of her favorite baseball moments.
“Because the other one’s can be repeated, but this one can’t be,” Aubrey said.
And Aubrey and her family plan to come to the statue dedication ceremony in two weeks in Youngstown.