07/18/2008 7:30 AM
On July 20th, former Dodger George "Shotgun" Shuba will return to Brooklyn, and appear at KeySpan Park. That night, the Cyclones will reenact Shotgun's famous "Handshake For The Century" with Jackie Robinson, and Shuba will sign copies of his new book, My Memories as a Brooklyn Dodger (you must purchase a copy of the book to get an autograph).
Shuba played for seven season, all with Brooklyn -- from 1948 through 1955, and was a member of the '55 team that won Brooklyn's only world championship. An outfielder, Shuba hit .259 in his career, with 24 home runs. He was also the first NL player ever to hit a pinch-hit home run in a World Series game.
Shuba is perhaps best remembered, though, for something he did in the minor leagues. On April 18, 1946, while playing for Brooklyn's Montreal franchise, Shuba was on deck when Jackie Robinson hit a home run in his first game. Shuba reached out to congratulate Robinson as he crossed the plate, and the interracial handshake -- the first ever of its kind in organized professional baseball was captured on film. "The Handshake For The Century" became one of baseball's most popular and lasting images, as Robinson broke the color barrier. A year later, he made his debut with the Dodgers.