Yankees to Honor Mandela in Monument Park

Monday, Dec 9, 2013  |  Updated 11:11 PM EDT
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Nelson Mandela calls for an end to apartheid before a sold-out Yankee Stadium. Later, he dons a Yankee jacket and hat and proclaimed,

NBC 4 New York

Nelson Mandela calls for an end to apartheid before a sold-out Yankee Stadium. Later, he dons a Yankee jacket and hat and proclaimed, "I am a Yankee." In this part of an hour-long WNBC special, "The Legacy of Yankee Stadium" by Greg Cergol, former Mayor Dinkins recalls thinking of his guest: "My big concern was, would he fit in the bed at Gracie Mansion? Because in my mind, he was 10 feet tall."

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Nelson Mandela will be honored by the Yankees with a plaque in Monument Park.

The team said Monday the plaque will be dedicated during Jackie Robinson Day ceremonies before a game against the Chicago Cubs next April 15.

The former South African president, who died last week, gave an address at old Yankee Stadium on June 21, 1990, four months after the end of a 27-year imprisonment. He put on a Yankees cap and jacket and told the crowd: "You know who I am. I am a Yankee."

Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner says Mandela's visit "was a transcendent moment in the history of the original Yankee Stadium."

Steinbrenner says "we want this plaque to be an everlasting tribute to his indomitable spirit and unfailing dignity."

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