New Jackie Robinson Statue To Replace One Stolen From Kansas Park Earlier This Year

In January, a statue of baseball legend Jackie Robinson was stolen and chopped off at the feet from a Wichita, Kansas public park. Now, the community will get a replacement statue after a GoFundMe has raised almost $200,000.

According to NBC News, with the funds raised for the statue, the expected construction of a new statue should be completed by August. Although John Parsons, who sculpted the original statue, passed away in June 2022, the Kansas-based organization overseeing the new statue, League 42 (named in honor of Robinson), found the mold that was used to create the first statue.

“We’re just happy that we can help restore it,” said Shelby Falk, the artists services coordinator for Art Castings of Colorado, “and bring back some history and let John and Jackie’s legacy live on.”

Through a GoFundMe campaign, Jaclyn Evans, the Administrative Assistant for League 42 Foundation and Bob Lutz, Executive Director, were able to raise $194,780 for the reconstruction of the statue.

“For us here in League 42, it’s a symbol of everything,” Lutz said. “We try to stand for perseverance, overcoming odds, not giving up — everything that Jackie Robinson stood for and was able to accomplish because of those traits.”

Along with the good news of the new statue, it was reported by The Associated Press that Ricky Alderete, who took part in the statue’s theft, has pleaded guilty guilty for his role in the incident. He was arrested in February after he allegedly went into a Wichita home in order to kidnap someone in an attempt to interfere with law enforcement. He was later charged with felony theft and aggravated criminal damage to property in the statue theft. His guilty plea was accepted by the judge along with additional charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated criminal damage to property, interference with law enforcement, criminal damage to property, making a false writing, and identity theft related to the kidnapping charge.

He is facing more than 19 years in prison when he’s sentenced July 1.

The bronze Jackie Robinson statue was cut off at the ankles and found smoldering in a trash can days later in a city park in Kansas.

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