MLB and clubs to fund replacement for destroyed Jackie Robinson statue as GoFundMe reaches $150K

A stolen and destroyed statue of Jackie Robinson in Wichita, Kansas, will be replaced by MLB and its 30 clubs.

Bob Lutz, the founder of the League 42 baseball program that built the statue, announced Wednesday on social media that MLB has promised funding to replace the statue, which has since been found burned beyond repair.

Per, the league will also provide funding for the broader goals of League 42, which was named after Robinson and aims to provide an affordable baseball league for children in the Wichita area.

MLB's funding will be in addition to the money the program has pulled in via its GoFundMe, which had exceeded $150,000 in donations as of Wednesday evening. That was already well above the program's original goal, but the organizers said the extra money will be used to "ramp up the pavilion area, in which Jackie stood before and will stand again, with added security measures and more."

The Robinson statue was cut down at the ankles and hauled away the night of Jan. 24, with the city initially estimating damages at $75,000. Local police requested help finding the statue, which was located Tuesday, when officers were called to the scene of a dumpster fire at Garvey Park in North Wichita.

The fire was extinguished, leaving the charred remains of the statue.

The statue was sculpted by hand by the late artist John Parsons, who spent two years creating it. A mold remains of the work, which will obviously help replace it.

The investigation into the theft remains underway. Surveillance video was released last week showing what appears to be two people and a driver cutting down the statue and loading it into a pick-up truck, which was later found abandoned.

From Wichita's KMUW:

“There will be arrests, but we're going to make sure that when we do, we will have a solid case,” Wichita Police Chief Joe Sullivan said.

“So for those of you who are in any way involved in this — that means whether you are involved with stealing the statue, whether or not you accepted the statue, you recorded the destruction of the statue — it is only a matter of time. It would be in your best interest that you simply turn yourself in.”