Nelson Mandela to receive plaque in Yankees’ Monument Park

Sep 22, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera touches his newly unveiled retired number during a ceremony in Monument Park before the game against San Francisco Giants at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees brass announced that they will be honoring the late civil and human rights leader, and former South African president Nelson Mandela with a plaque in Monument Park, according to David Waldstein of the New York Times.

An excerpt from the Waldstein report:

During Nelson Mandela’s triumphant visit to New York in June 1990, shortly after he was released from a South African prison, one of his most memorable stops was a rally and concert at Yankee Stadium, where he donned a cap and jacket and proclaimed, “I am a Yankee.”

To commemorate that moment and the life of Mandela, the South African leader who died last week at age 95, the Yankees will place a plaque in Monument Park to be unveiled on Jackie Robinson Day, April 15, when the Yankees play the Chicago Cubs. [NY Times]

Mandela passed away on Thursday at the age of 95.  He was widely known as a huge sports fan, particularly of boxing.

Sports has the power to change the world.  It has the power to inspire.  It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does.  Sport can awaken hope where there was previously only despair,” Mandela famously said in a 2006 speech.

The only other non-Yankees to be honored with a plaque in Monument Park are Robinson, Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and the victims of the September 11th attacks.

Topics: MLB, Nelson Mandela, New York Yankees

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