To learn about our efforts to improve the accessibility and usability of our website, please visit our Accessibility Information page. Skip to section navigation or Skip to main content
Below is an advertisement.

Official Info

Skip to main content
Below is an advertisement.

04/15/2009 12:53 PM ET
Robinson family, Mets, Citi, Jackie Robinson Foundation, Major League Baseball, government leaders dedicate Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field
Iconic main entry to Mets' new home honors American trailblazer
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
print this pageprint this page    |    e-mail this pagee-mail this page
Rachel Robinson, the New York Mets, Citi, the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Major League Baseball, and government leaders today dedicated the iconic Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field on the 62nd anniversary of Jackie becoming the first African-American player in the sport's modern era to break Major League Baseball's color barrier.

Joining in the ceremony were the Mets Ownership group, Citi executives, Rachel Robinson - Jackie's wife and Founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation - nine Jackie Robinson Foundation college scholarship recipients, Major League Baseball President & Chief Operating Officer Bob DuPuy, and New York State Governor David A. Paterson, the Senior U.S. Senator from the State of New York Chuck Schumer, U.S. Congressman Eliot L. Engel, New York State Majority Leader Malcolm A. Smith, New York City Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber, and Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall.

Evoking the classic design of Ebbets Field, where Robinson played second base for the Brooklyn Dodgers, the main entry at Citi Field recognizes and perpetuates the humanitarian ideals of one of our country's civil rights pioneers.

Engraved into the Rotunda's 160-foot diameter floor and etched into its 70-foot archways are words and larger-than-life images that defined Jackie's "nine values" as articulated by Sharon Robinson, Jackie's and Rachel's daughter and Foundation Vice Chair: Courage, Excellence, Persistence, Justice, Teamwork, Commitment, Citizenship, Determination, and Integrity. The Rotunda features an eight-foot sculpture of Jackie's number 42, which in 1997, was retired in perpetuity throughout Major League Baseball.

"The Jackie Robinson Rotunda at the Citi Field is a stunning space and a superb tribute to Jack's enduring legacy," said Rachel Robinson. "I am grateful to Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and Jeff Wilpon for their vision and personal commitment to making this dream a reality at the Mets new ballpark. It is my hope that as people of all ages pass through the Rotunda, it will evoke their most cherished memories as well as serve as an inspiration to young people who we hope will share the values and ideals by which Jack lived."

"As a youngster, I had the great privilege to know Jackie, Rachel and the Robinson family, and that makes today - personally and professionally - even more meaningful," said Fred Wilpon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, New York Mets. "The Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field serves to welcome, educate and inspire, and is a powerful reminder of Jackie's profound impact on our country as an American hero."

"Citi would like to congratulate the Robinson and Wilpon families for creating a magnificent tribute to an American icon," said Terri Dial, CEO of Consumer Banking North America & Global Head of Consumer Strategy, Citi. "The Jackie Robinson Rotunda will ensure that millions of fans of all ages remember Jackie's positive impact on our history and we are proud it is prominently featured at the new Citi Field."

"The enduring impact of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier is evident in every aspect of American culture from ballparks around the country to universities to office buildings," said DuPuy. "The Mets recognition of Jackie's legacy by dedicating a rotunda to his memory and accomplishments is a fitting tribute to a man whose impact helped shape the civil rights movement and all of our futures."

"The Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field is a fitting tribute to a man who forever altered the landscape of Major League Baseball," said Governor Paterson. "But his contributions to society extend far beyond his abilities on the field; his life story continues to inspire generations of African-Americans to pursue and fulfill their own dreams. I would like to thank Rachel Robinson, the Mets and Citi for their dedication to preserving the legacy of Jackie Robinson and making his remarkable story come alive for future generations."

"The Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field is a wonderful tribute to perhaps the most iconic baseball player of all time," said Senator Schumer. "As the first professional baseball player to break through Major League Baseball's color barrier, Jackie Robinson represented the best of this country and inspired the nation. As fans pass through this rotunda in the seasons to come, I hope that they all stop for a moment to remember the legacy of a truly great baseball player."

"Jackie Robinson stirred the conscience of a nation with his talent, his bravery and trailblazing spirit," said Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. Senator from the State of New York. "The Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field is a beautiful and fitting memorial to a man who forever changed the game of baseball, and life in America. I thank Rachel Robinson, the New York Mets and Citi for honoring Jackie's groundbreaking contributions to our country."

"Jackie Robinson's gritty determination and enormous talent changed America's game and in fact, changed America," said Congressman Engel. "In the face of hate and bigotry he showed courage and grace. It is appropriate that we honor him by preserving his memory in a ballpark here in New York - where his legacy took shape. By preserving his accomplishments, we pass on to new generations of Americans his message and his example - unless you make a difference in the lives you touch, you haven't really lived."

"In these turbulent times, it is essential that we preserve the memory of those great heroes who overcame adversity and rekindled hope in America's future," said Sheldon Silver, New York State Assembly Speaker. "Jackie Robinson was such a hero, and I am delighted that his life and his principles are immortalized here and will inspire countless generations to come." "Jackie Robinson is an institution in New York and throughout the nation," said New York State Senate Majority Leader Smith. "The courage, determination and strength of heart he demonstrated transcended his career on the baseball field and delivered a legacy from which all Americans can draw inspiration. On this, the 62nd anniversary of the day he broke the color barrier on the field of play, I can think of no greater way to honor his memory than by paying tribute to his life and continuing the work he dedicated it to."

"New York City is deeply honored to call Jackie Robinson one of our own," said Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York. "He personified the qualities New Yorkers most admire: the determination to overcome hardship and adversity, the courage to achieve the impossible, the grace to make it look effortless, and the compassion to help others follow their own dreams. The Jackie Robinson Rotunda is a wonderful reminder of his legacy and a source of inspiration for all who pass through Citi Field's doors."

"Today we celebrate the opening of a fitting tribute to an American icon who not only represents the best in baseball but the best of our national spirit," said Borough President Marshall. "Jackie Robinson and the values he represents to this day still endure and resonate with today's generation and will set a standard for tomorrow as well. I am happy that this tribute is a prominent feature of the great new ballpark Citi Field in the great Borough of Queens."

At tonight's game, Citi will launch its Citi Field Kids program, developed in collaboration with the Jackie Robinson Foundation, United Neighborhood Houses and the Mets, to educate and motivate students from New York City schools at Citi Field. Some 200 area children will be guests of Citi, and Jackie's nine values will serve as the focal point of the program with guests including former Mets, the team's front-office executives, and Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars available for a question-and-answer session rooted in mentoring and education.

The Mets in 1997 were the first club in Major League Baseball to endow a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar.

Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 140 countries. Through its two operating units, Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at or

Established in 1973, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) is one of the nation's premier education and leadership development programs. It provides four-year college scholarships and graduate school grants to minority students who demonstrate academic achievement, leadership capacity and financial need. Transcending financial assistance, the Foundation equips its scholarship recipients with a comprehensive set of support services including mentoring, career guidance and practical life skills, resulting in a 97 percent graduation rate, more than twice the national average for minority students. This academic year, there are 279 JRF Scholars attending 106 colleges and universities in 34 states. The more than 1,300 JRF alumni are both leaders in their professional fields and consummate ambassadors of Jackie's legacy of community service. Additional information may be found at

print this pageprint this page    |    e-mail this pagee-mail this page