Wichita to unveil rebuilt Robinson statue Aug. 5

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Sports

Sports Rebuilt Jackie Robinson statue to be unveiled Aug. 5

  • Anthony Olivieri, ESPN.comJun 7, 2024, 06:53 PM ET

A youth baseball league in Wichita, Kansas, will unveil a new Jackie Robinson statue Aug. 5, replacing the original work that was cut from the base, removed and vandalized earlier this year, Bob Lutz, executive director of League 42, told ESPN on Friday.

Art Castings of Colorado, an art foundry 50 miles outside of Denver, is creating the replacement statue. The artist, John Parsons, died in 2022, but the foundry is using his original mold.

Ricky Alderete, 45, was arrested after the statue went missing in January. He pleaded guilty last month to theft and other charges. He could face more than 19 years behind bars when he’s sentenced July 1, the district attorney’s office told ESPN.

Using surveillance video, police said at least three people were present when the statue was cut, leaving the bronze replicas of Robinson’s cleats behind. The cleats were donated to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. No other arrests have been made.

The statue, which police said was valued at $75,000, was stolen from McAdams Park, where League 42 plays its games. Police have said they don’t believe the crime to be racially motivated, based on what they know at this time. Instead, they believe it was “motivated by the financial gain of scrapping common metal.”

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