Soto, Waltz Introduce Jackie Robinson Commemorative Site Act

Soto, Waltz Introduce Jackie Robinson Commemorative Site Act

“Jackie Robinson changed the course of history forever on March 17, 1946 in Daytona Beach when he set foot in the then-named Daytona City Island Ballpark.

Daniel Molina
Daniel Molina
|
April 16, 2024

A bipartisan effort in the House of Representatives is looking to honor baseball legend Jackie Robinson. Florida Reps. Darren Soto (D) and Mike Waltz (R) have introduced the Jackie Robinson Ballpark Commemorative Site Act. The bipartisan bill would honor the location where Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and played his first professional baseball game.

The bill would designate the Jackie Robinson Ballpark and home of the Daytona Tortugas would be designated as a National Commemorative Site. The Secretary of Interior would conduct a feasibility study that would give the site the designation of National Historic Landmark.

Rep. Soto called the designation of the Daytona Beach ballpark as "a vital step towards preserving his historic contributions." He went on to praise Jackie Robinson's legacy for being "a beacon of courage, resilience, and equality," adding that "his groundbreaking journey through adversity not only transformed the game of baseball but ignored a movement for social change that continues to inspire generations worldwide."

Rep. Waltz echoed in his remarks, highlighting in a statement that the Daytona Beach ballpark is a crucial place in the history of baseball.

“Jackie Robinson changed the course of history forever on March 17, 1946 in Daytona Beach when he set foot in the then-named Daytona City Island Ballpark,” he said. “Since that day, Daytona Beach’s ballpark has been a historic landmark and reminder of Jackie Robinson, the Civil Rights Movement, and the integration of modern professional baseball. We must preserve and honor Jackie Robinson’s legacy and the impact he had in Daytona Beach and across America."

Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) will introduce companion legislation in the Senate. The bill is co-sponsored by the entire Florida House delegation, and it has also received the support from both Major and Minor League Baseball.

Bob Fregolle, the Co-owner & Operating Partner of the Daytona Tortugas, praised the effort, calling the designation a move that "will only strengthen his legacy for generations to come.

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Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina

Daniel Molina is an award-winning senior reporter based in Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Florida International University. His hobbies include reading, writing, and watching films.

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