FEATURE

A League of Her Own

Sharon Robinson '76NRS delivers on her father's legacy.

by Paul Hond Published Summer 2017
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On April 15, 2017, Sharon arrived at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, ten miles from Pasadena, where Jackie Robinson grew up. Seventy years had passed since that immortal day at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn when Jack Roosevelt Robinson in his white Dodgers jersey strode pigeon-toed across the grass to the infield dirt.

Guests and dignitaries gathered in the left-field plaza: Sharon’s mom, Rachel; Sharon’s brother David, who lives in Tanzania, where he runs a coffee cooperative; the extended Robinson family; Jackie’s teammates Sandy Koufax, Don Newcombe, and Tommy Lasorda; Dave Roberts, the team’s first Black manager, now in his second year; Dodgers part-owner Magic Johnson; and Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten ’76LAW. Nearby, blue curtains veiled a statue — the first ever for Dodger Stadium.

“Anniversaries let us focus not only on the past, but on where we are now.”

On the count of three the curtains fell, revealing Jackie Robinson, in bronze, sliding toward the plate, his right fist extended as he completes baseball’s most daring play: stealing home.

Sharon was grateful to have shared the moment with her mother. These occasions are far more than celebrations.

“Anniversaries let us focus not only on the past, but on where we are now,” Sharon says. “They help us see where we still need to work hard to reverse the backsliding, and to move things forward. They are moments of reflection, and not just for baseball.”

 

Sharon Robinson loves the water. She divides her time between New York and Delray Beach, Florida. The beach in Delray is beautiful; the water, healing.

 “I’ve been trying to figure out who I am since my son died,” Sharon says, matter-of-factly. Fortitude and grace suffuse her; there are no stats for that.

Jesse had two children. Jessica is six, and Luke is eleven. They live in Massachusetts, and Sharon hopes to see more of them.

She’s been thinking more about the next phase of her life.

“Slowly,” she says, “I’m beginning to visualize what that will look like.”

Her favorite time to walk the beach is sunrise, when the fishermen are setting out in their boats. A golden rim appears on the watery horizon — a crown, lifting as if for the first time — and the world feels calm.

“I have one more book I’m going to do for kids,” Sharon says, peering into the future. She laughs, almost bashfully. “Then maybe I’ll get to write some love stories.”


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