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Schumer To Mets: Name New Stadium For Jackie Robinson

Schumer: There is no better way to honor Jackie Robinsons achievements and bravery than by naming the new Mets stadium after him.

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer sent a letter to Fred Wilpon, owner of the New York Mets, calling on him to name the new stadium scheduled to be built for the New York Mets after the late Jackie Roosevelt Robinson. Schumer said that Jackie Robinsons contributions to the game of baseball, the City of New York, and our country deserve a grand living and permanent monument.

The Mets are the direct inheritors of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball tradition and there is no better way to honor Jackie Robinsons achievements and bravery than by naming the new Mets stadium after him, Schumer said. Jackie Robinson changed this country by breaking down barriers. The fact that it was our team in our city is something that was should be both proud of, and eager to commemorate.

Schumer today said that he thinks the perfect place for this commemoration is the new Mets Stadium. Though the new facility is intended to look like Ebbets Field, the Senator believes it should also capture the spirit of that place and no one embodied that spirit more than Jackie Robinson.

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson, track star, veteran and ballplayer took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field as the first AfricanAmerican to play major league ball. He was 28. A few months later, he was named the firstever Rookie of the Year. He played for New York teams throughout his stellar 10year career. He remained a New York legend, working as a civil rights advocate and columnist and living in the city for most of his life.

I understand the financial considerations involved and the possibility of a lucrative naming rights contract with a major corporation, Schumer said. But, even in the face of this hurdle, it defies believability that a grand way to honor Jackie Robinson can not be realized at the new stadium. When compared to the hurdles Jackie Robinson faced and conquered, it seems a small barrier indeed.

In his letter to Wilpon, Schumer wrote, Simply put: there is no better way to celebrate and commemorate the eternal significance of the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier than to name the new stadium, modeled after Ebbets field, in his honor. As a native Brooklynite who experienced the glory of baseball at Ebbets field with his Dad, and who was a witness to the special history made in that place by Jackie Robinson, I know you understand what this could mean for New York. I believe it will foster a connection with the New York community, and with America, that will be worth far more than any corporate contract.