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Historic photo serves as learning tool for family, nation

YOUNGSTOWN — For 75 years to this day, and beyond, Youngstown and professional baseball are entwined thanks to one image.

The historic photo first served as a learning tool for a local family, and now a nation.

Youngstown native George “Shotgun” Shuba on April 18, 1946, became a part of arguably the most significant photo to begin the integration process in Major League Baseball. Today, Shuba is forever remembered for that groundbreaking moment with hall of famer Jackie Robinson.

Robinson breaking MLB’s color barrier a year later is touted as one of the most important moment in sports history — paving the way for other black athletes across baseball and all other major sports.

George’s son, Mike Shuba of Austintown, said his dad “didn’t think it would be such a big moment like it is today. He always said it was Jackie’s moment, not his. He was used to playing with and against black athletes from high school so it was a normal thing for him to go up and shake Jackie’s hand at the plate.”

That handshake “had all to do with his upbringing and what he was taught as a kid, an altar boy and at school, specifically how he interacted with other players at Chaney High School,” Mike said. “At Chaney, he was playing amongst and against black athletes all the time and it was no big deal to celebrate a home run.”

Read more in Sunday’s Tribune Chronicle.

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