MLB, clubs commit funding for Wichita’s League 42

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — After the theft and destruction of League 42’s Jackie Robinson statue, the baseball community is committing to help.

Bob Lutz, the executive director of League 42, said the Major League Baseball’s Commissioner’s Office and 30 clubs have committed funding toward the cost of replacing the statue.

“We are grateful for their contribution to our mission of celebrating Jackie’s legacy through the youth of Wichita,” Lutz posted on X (formerly Twitter).

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The MLB said in addition to paying for a replacement statue, MLB and the clubs will provide funding to League 42 programming to support its on-field and academic goals.

The statue was stolen last Wednesday night from League 42 at McAdams Park at 17th Street North and Ohio.

Police say the Wichita Fire Department got a call around 8:30 Tuesday morning of a trash can fire at Garvey Park. The fire department put the fire out and found what appeared to be remnants of the Jackie Robinson statue. The Wichita Police Department said the statue is unsalvageable.

Jackie Robinson statue remains on Jan. 30, 2024 (Courtesy: Wichita Fire Department)
Jackie Robinson statue remains on Jan. 30, 2024 (Courtesy: Wichita Fire Department)

A GoFundMe started by League 42 has already garnered attention nationally and, as of Wednesday afternoon, has raised over $147,000.

“Today is Jackie Robinson’s birthday. He was born on this day 105 years ago. Please donate what you can in his honor. We’re deeply appreciative,” said Lutz on X.

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