Monday, December 9, 2013
Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Don Mattingly, and Mariano Rivera are going to have some very esteemed company soon. The Yankees announced on Monday they are going honor Nelson Mandela in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park next season. Mandela, who help unite a racially fractured country, passed away at age 95 last Thursday.
A plaque will be dedicated in the Stadium's center field shrine on Jackie Robinson Day (April 15, 2014) prior to a game with the National League's Chicago Cubs. Mandela will join non-baseball related honorees Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and the 9/11 victims and rescue workers.
Mandela spoke at a rally at Yankees Stadium on June 21, 1990, a mere four months after he was released from prison. He donned a Yankees hat and proclaimed, "You know who I am. I am a Yankee!"