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A monument for tolerance: Jackie Robinson and PeeWee Reese

And last week, Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in modern baseball, and his Brooklyn Dodger teammate Pee Wee Reese, who stood up for Robinson through taunts, jeers and physical threats, were immortalized in statue.
“The Robinson family is very proud to have the historic relationship between Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese memorialized in the statue being dedicated at KeySpan Park,” said Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson, at the unveiling last week on a bright and sunny Coney Island morning.

The relationship between the two players began shortly after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947. Reese, the club’s sortstop and team captain, who grew up in the segregated South, steadfastly refused to sign the petition and even went against friends and some family in accepting Robinson.
Then, during a game in Cincinnati in May 1947, with Robinson facing death threats and the taunts of racist hecklers, Reese went out of his way to support Robinson by publicly walking over and putting his arm around his teammate’s shoulders.
It is a gesture that is etched in many fans’ memory and one that bonded the teammates for life.
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