A pandemic pastime turned into anything extra special than one particular man could have at any time predicted for a 7-calendar year-outdated Lubbock girl – a connection to a instant in baseball and civil legal rights history 75 decades in the past.
Craig Cox, a professor at the school of pharmacy at Texas Tech, begun accumulating baseball memorabilia in Dec. 2020 with his daughter, Aubrey, as a hobby for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’ve traveled all over the state going to major events my whole daily life,” Cox stated. “Golf, baseball, football and all that stuff. You constantly obtain things as you go, ticket stubs and courses, and pictures, but when the pandemic hit I couldn’t journey all over to all those people occasions. So I explained to my spouse, I was like ‘OK, if we’re not heading to be touring around, I bought to hold this sporting activities a thing likely. So why really don’t we just come up with a minor funds and we buy some things with my 7-year-outdated daughter Aubrey,’ and we targeted on baseball for the reason that that is out most loved detail as a family.”
Cox reported they discovered the top rated 100 or 200 times in baseball historical past and started gathering. The father and daughter want to start out a guy/girl cave with all of their baseball memorabilia in their basement.
“When they came in the mail, they would occur in boxes or some variety of package, my daughter and I, we contact them ‘mystery boxes’ and she’d be so excited when a single arrived in the mail and we’d sit down and open it up,” Cox stated. “We talked about what it was and then we’d go on YouTube and we’d watch the moment in time that was the video of the homerun or the video of the strike out or what ever it is. She’s actually thrilled about that for a minute and then she’d go ‘OK, I’m ready to go back to my iPad or whatever’ but we did that a large amount.”
Cox reached out to Mike Shuba, the son of George Shuba, simply because he was looking for the image of the “Handshake of the Century” -the famous photo of George Shuba shaking fingers with Jackie Robinson’s hand on April 18, 1946, while they had been participating in in the minimal leagues. Robinson, who was Black, would go on to be the initially African-American to brazenly engage in Key League Baseball, for the Dodgers, in 1947.
“I experienced to reach out to [Mike], I couldn’t discover it on eBay, so he despatched us a framed version for cost-free,” Cox mentioned. “When he realized that Aubrey was 7, he known as and we experienced this discussion and he explained ‘why do you like this Aubrey?’ and she explained on the phone ‘Just simply because men and women are unique and it demonstrates that you can however be friends’ and as before long as she mentioned that, it just begun this romance and he said ‘this is what my father and I have been performing and now that he’s absent and the statue is about to be below, you are carrying on the legacy and it suggests so significantly to me so I want Aubrey Cox from Texas to be a section of this and we’re likely to carry this on forever’ so that’s what kick begun this whole point.”
Shuba and others worked to have the iconic impression recreated as a statue, which was unveiled on July 17 in Youngstown, Ohio, George Shuba’s hometown, where by Aubrey was the special guest.
“My daughter and I chatting about, my daughter is adopted and so is my son, they’re equally 50/50 Hispanic Caucasian and my wife and I are about as white as you get,” Cox mentioned. “We’ve often experienced people times in which they are sitting down in the living room and they are like ‘look father Casey and I are the identical color and you and mom are so white.’ We go sites and you can listen to people today like ‘Are they the mom and dad?’ We’ve professional that a small little bit. We sort of talked about that, about how had been so distinctive but we nevertheless like just about every other and were being even now a family and ‘kids in university earning exciting of you, well which is what this instant represents that you can be different but continue to be pals and do all that.’ When she caught on to that, which is what she’s likely to inform you is that not most people will get together and I like how we’re all unique and it just shows that you can be absolutely unique and it doesn’t issue, you can continue to be friends eternally.”
Cox reported Shuba acquired thrilled about this due to the fact Aubrey comprehended the message and the indicating at the rear of the picture and the handshake.
“That’s what caught on to it – why Mike Shuba got actually fired up about this was the son of George who was shaking arms,” Cox said. “He experienced absent all over right before he did in 2014, right until he was 89 a long time old, he had gone about colleges talking about that, using the image on posters and conversing with young children and just speaking about what the poster intended.”
Cox reported this complete expertise is pretty special to him.
“It’s aspect of heritage, it’s apart of baseball historical past,” he mentioned. “Getting a section of that and having my daughter be center of that is seriously exclusive due to the fact no one can acquire that absent, but the over and above that is what it represents.”
The father and daughter are on the lookout at ways to share the working experience with other individuals.
“I assume what my daughter and I approach to do is that we have some posters and we labored it out with Mike that we can get plenty of posters, we approach on heading all over to the educational facilities, COVID-willing, and just conversing to different educational institutions, just like he and his dad did,” he claimed. “We’re heading to acquire a thriller box which is going to have all of his father things, jerseys, and all of his balls and we have tickets, and we have autograph textbooks and all the things in this time, and we’re likely to consider a mystery box and we’d open up it up and tell people stories but it would also be centered on the impression and what it signifies all of that.”
Cox mentioned the gentleman/girl cave will be completed as soon as yet another significant house renovation is entire.
“When the bathroom’s done,” Cox claimed with a snicker. “My spouse has claimed after we get the toilet performed, the guy/girl cave can develop into a fruition in our basement. We previously have the room, and we presently have the walls, there’s nothing on it and we currently have the stuff. My daughter and I have currently assumed about in which everything’s heading and we understood that my wife was ideal and we have far too much., but that is my quick response. When the bathroom’s carried out unless I can negotiate that. So, I’ll say it’ll be a number of months ahead of which is all reported and accomplished.”