MLB donates money to rebuild damaged Jackie Robinson historical marker in Cairo

GRADY COUNTY, Ga. — If you are a baseball fan, you may already be aware that baseball legend Jackie Robinson is from Grady County in South Georgia. In 2001 a marker was put up to mark the historical significance of the area as part of the Georgia Historical Society’s “Civil Rights Trail”.

The marker sits on Hadley Ferry Road just outside the Cairo city limits around 13 miles from town. If you go looking for it, it’s just under a mile north of Meridian Road on Hadley Ferry.

The Birthplace of Jackie Robinson historical marker was erected in 2001 in Grady County, Georgia, by GHS and the Jackie Robinson Cairo Memorial Institute, Inc. It is part of the Georgia Historical Society’s Civil Rights Trail, an initiative that focuses broadly on the economic, social, political, and cultural history of the Civil Rights Movement.

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In February of this year, police reported that vandals had heavily damaged the marker. The vandals reportedly shot it multiple times with a variety of guns leaving it heavily damaged with no easy way to get it fixed.

Since then, the Historical Society has been searching for ways to fund and rebuild the marker. On Friday morning, they announced that Major League Baseball Charities will donate $40,000 to sponsor a new marker at the same location.

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The President and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society, Dr. W. Todd Groce said not only will MLB Charities fund the marker, they’ve made a gift to the historical society to help establish the “Jackie Robinson Fund”. It will be an endowment to provide perpetual care and protection for the historical marker in the event it gets damaged again.

”GHS is deeply grateful to Commissioner Rob Manfred for supporting our teaching mission through the replacement and endowment of the Birthplace of Jackie Robinson historical marker,” Groce said . “Jackie Robinson’s legacy as a leader both on and off the diamond makes him one of Georgia’s most famous native sons and a source of great pride for all Americans.”

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Along with the marker at Robinson’s birthplace site, GHS is putting a duplicate marker in front of the Roddenberry Library in downtown Cairo to help bring more attention to the birthplace.

“Our goal is to ensure that everyone who visits South Georgia can learn about the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson,” Groce said. “As the first African American to break modern-day Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947, Robinson’s talent on the field and his dedication to Civil Rights should never be forgotten.”

Once the new historical marker is finished, it will replace the damaged original and will be rededicated at a later date.

For more information about the historical marker, you can read about it at the Historical Marker Database.