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Jackie Robinson statue cleats to be donated to Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The cleats of baseball legend Jackie Robinson’s Wichita statue will be donated to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

NLBM president Bob Kendrick and League 42 founder Bob Lutz confirmed the news to FOX4 on Friday, and a ceremony will be held on April 11.

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The bronze statue was cut from its place at McAdams Park, where about 600 children play in the League 42 youth baseball league, which is named after Robinson’s uniform number with the Brooklyn Dodgers, with whom he broke the major leagues’ color barrier in 1947.

On Jan. 28, police recovered a vehicle that it believed to be connected to the case at an apartment complex in Wichita. Two days after that, fire crews found burned remnants of the statue while responding to a trash can fire at another park about seven miles away.

On Feb. 13, police announced the arrest of Ricky Alderete, 45. He was charged with felony theft (value over $25,000), aggravated criminal damage to property, identity theft and making false information.

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“The investigation has not revealed any evidence indicating that this was a hate-motivated crime,” Lieutenant Aaron Moses with the Wichita Police Department said. “Instead, we believe this theft was motivated by the financial gain of scraping common metal.”

The statue, which was erected in 2021, had an estimated value of $75,000 and an online fundraiser brought more than $145,000, and Major League Baseball also pledged support.

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