Several members of the Builders Association of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania were involved in the preparation and construction of the George Shuba and Jackie Robinson commemorative statue site, which celebrates the historic handshake between baseball teammates.
Youngstown native George Shuba extended his hand to congratulate Robinson as Robinson crossed home plate following a 3-run homer, officially shattering the color barrier in Major League Baseball.
To honor this historic event and its local ties, donors raised $400,000 for the statue’s construction, which was sculpted by Marc Mellon, a Connecticut-based artist. Donations ranged from ten dollars to $175,000 from a charitable foundation in Oregon.
Wean Park Site Preparation
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 5, 2020 in Wean Park just outside of downtown Youngstown. The site plan included a concrete base for the statue, concrete seating, concrete walkways, and lighting. The Builders Association of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania had several members contribute to the statue’s construction.
Brock & Associates of North Lima was selected to be the general contractor for the site. Youngstown-based Santon Electric installed pole lighting, as well as lights in the concrete seating that surround the statue, and donated any portion of their work that wasn’t covered by fundraising contributions. VEC, Inc. provided security system integration, donating a security camera and wi-fi bridge for the site. Lencyk Masonry completed brick and masonry work, while Masonry Materials Plus supplied much of the material. When it was time for the statue to be placed, Diamond Steel Construction utilized one of their cranes to lower the statue to its final location.
The statue was revealed to the public on July 17, 2021 as part of Youngstown State University’s Summer Festival of the Arts. The unveiling was originally planned for April 18, 2021, the 75th anniversary of the handshake, but had to be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Historic Moment for Youngstown and America
The Builders Association hopes that the statue pays tribute to those who were on the forefront of overcoming racial inequality in America and inspires society to treat others, no matter who they are, with kindness and respect.
We at the Builders Association give our thanks and praise to all of our members that donated their time and efforts to make this entire project possible.