Friday, August 31, 2012
Blog: This Week in Sports Venue Statuary
conference rivals, the honoring through sculpture of fallen athletes, coaches and fans, and the recently debated fate of a disgraced coach’s likeness within its stadium home of nearly a dozen years. But I have never seen so much sports venue statuary news take shape in a single week.
In months past, I’ve reported on a statue-erecting surge among |
First came word that 6-foot-9 Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird will by next fall be standing 15 feet tall outside the Hulman Center at Indiana State University, where Bird starred as a collegian. The reason for the much bigger Bird, according to sculptor Bill Wolfe, is to outsize any statue of longtime on-court rival Magic Johnson.
Meanwhile, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Johnson’s former teammate with the Los Angeles Lakers, will — after some public lobbying last year — get his own statue alongside those of Magic, Jerry West and broadcaster Chick Hearn outside Staples Center at some point during the 2012-13 season.
But the item that really caught my attention was the announcement that today, at 1:30 p.m. central, a statue of former big-leaguer Bob Uecker — career .200 hitter, Hall of Fame radio voice of the Milwaukee Brewers since the 1971 and namesake of my recently deceased Dalmatian — will be unveiled outside Miller Park, joining statues of Henry Aaron, Robin Yount and MLB commissioner and former Brewers’ owner Bud Selig. I’m not sure how many more seasons Uecker will call (can tolerate) Brewer baseball, but it seems altogether fitting to this longtime fan that “the man who made mediocrity famous,” as his book Catcher in the Wry proclaimed, lives on — if silently — in bronze.