Jackie Robinson Playground


Thursday, April 27, 2017
No. 39

NYC Parks Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Martin Maher yesterday joined Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna, City Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo and community members to cut the ribbon on Jackie Robinson Playground in Crown Heights, right near the old Ebbets Field. This $900,000 renovation was funded jointly by Mayor de Blasio and Borough President Adams in support of Council Member Cumbo.

“We are thrilled to reopen Jackie Robinson Playground for this community just in time for the beautiful spring weather,” said Commissioner Maher. “This space offers so many fun new features for kids of all ages to enjoy, including better play equipment, a spray shower, and basketball courts, and we know this playground will get a lot of love. Jackie Robinson is a Brooklyn icon, and it is moving to see a new generation of youngsters playing just steps away from where he made history.”

“Playgrounds and recreational spaces are critical to the health and wellbeing of Brooklynites, particularly our youngest and most vulnerable,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “Yesterday’s unveiling of this refurbished play space, with all its new features, is a testament to how we can come together and engage partners around improving our public spaces. I hope the legacy of Jackie Robinson lives on long into the future as this playground becomes used by the local community.”

“One of my first projects that I took on as Council Member for the 35th Council District, was the restoration of the Jackie Robinson Playground in Crown Heights. This beloved park space has been instrumental to providing the youth and families of this neighborhood with a beautiful place where they can play, thrive, and be inspired by the story of its namesake. As a member of the Youth Services Committee, I am so proud that we were able to reopen this playground with new equipment in time for the summer season. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, and Brooklyn Borough Parks Commissioner Marty Maher for making our vision a reality,” said Council Member Cumbo.

The improved Jackie Robinson Playground now includes brand new play equipment, safety surface and a spray shower; larger perimeter planters and a complete renovation of the basketball courts, with new pavement, color seal coat, and glass backboards with hoops and nets. Parks also installed benches, new game tables, new pavement and a historic sign commemorating Jackie Robinson who made baseball history nearby where Ebbets Field once stood.

In conjunction with the project, Parks’ in-house crews gave the comfort station a complete overhaul, enabling it to be reopened for public use.

On April 15, 1947, Robinson made history as the first African American to play in a Major League baseball game, paving the way for generations of black athletes to compete in America’s national pastime. Born in Cairo, Georgia, and raised in Pasadena, California, Robinson became the first student to letter in four sports at the University of California, Los Angeles: baseball, basketball, football, and track. Robinson played professional football for the Los Angeles Bulldogs before serving in the army during World War II. After the war, Robinson played baseball in the Negro Leagues for the Kansas City Monarchs, where he caught the eye of Branch Rickey (1881–1965), general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Rickey signed Robinson on August 28, 1945 to join the Montreal Royals, the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in the International League. Two seasons later, Robinson made it to the majors, leading the Dodgers to six World Series appearances. He retired in 1956 with a lifetime batting average of .311, and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

Directions to Jackie Robinson Playground


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