Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Yes--The Statues Are Coming

Most every single Modern Ballpark built over the past decade has included Statues Honoring Great Baseball Icons from those cities these Players represented. Willie Mays and Willie McCovey in San Francisco. Mike Schmidt and Connie Mack in Philadelphia. Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Satchel Paige and a host of other Negro League Greats in Pittsburgh. That's just to name a few.

For some time, since the announcement of New Nationals Park--many Washington Fans have clamored for just such monuments at The New Ballyard being built on South Capitol Street.

Recently, The DC Commission on Arts & The Humanities requisitioned artists or teams of artists to bid on the design and creation of, at least, THREE STATUES at New Nationals Park. According to the Release--each of these monuments will be placed along the concourses and be accessible to fans.

Multiple Sources have confirmed to me that Three of Washington's Finest Home Town Baseball Heroes will be represented.

Included Baseball Greats will be:

Walter Johnson--The Greatest Pitcher of All Time and long time Washington National (Senator) from 1907-1928. An original member of The Baseball Hall of Fame.

Negro League Great--Josh Gibson of the Homestead Grays. One of the GREATEST SLUGGERS OF ALL TIME.

and finally, My Favorite Player of All TIME!!--representing My Washington Senators of my youth--"HONDO" Frank Howard.

Nothing could make me more proud than seeing "Hondo" included!!

Artist Semi-Finalists will be announced any day now. Design Proposal by late August. The Selected works will be chosen in September, with the final goal of installation of each of these Statues in August, 2008. Total Budget--$200,000.

What more could you ask for? This is EXACTLY WHAT MANY FANS WANTED TO SEE. Much credit much be given to The District of Columbia Government for moving forward on this extremely important project. Washington, DC has a rich Baseball Heritage. Now, many others will have a chance to re-live that history.

Really, its a GREAT DAY, to a Washington Baseball Fan.


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to see the design on TV of the Walter Johnson statue on Thursday.

Its gonig to be a fun year next year in 2008 at the new ballpark!

Anonymous said...

Im very happy they are honoring walter jonhson...he was a member of this team and city; his records should be part of the Nats history, not the Twins.

Anonymous said...

Edit- Johnson*

SenatorNat said...

Well - this will be the first time that I claim any credit for anything along the way, I think. But, I, as SBF, knows, have been pounding on those who have sway with the arts commission to present these VERY three logical representatives in statutes to commenorate the three phases of Washington MLB up until the 21st Century Nationals. I have also recommended a fourth: Frank Robinson, to represent the Nationals, which would be a fitting tribute to a MLB icon and his leading this vagabound team to the "promised land." Instead, I suppose we will wait, and carve the likeness of Ryan Zimmerman when he hangs it up many, many wonderful seasons from now.

Trust in Kasten. All Good. (And Go Spartans! WJ - Class of '69)

Edward J. Cunningham said...

If he had been willing to participate, I think simply retiring Frank's number "20" would have been better. However, since he burned all the bridges behind him I don't think we can do even that. Let's hope that when Zimmerman blossoms into an All-Star, the Nats will sign him to a contract KEEPING him in Washington. I have a sinking feeling he could end up in another uniform if we are not too careful.

One more thing. As long as we are honoring the past with these three statues, could it hurt to put up some sort of signs or banners in the outfield commemorating the original Nats three pennants and one World Series title, as well as the championships the Grays won while they played in D.C.? (If they do the latter, I think any pre-1947 Negro League World Series championship should simply be identified as "world champions" rather than "Negro League Champions.")

Edward J. Cunningham said...

BTW, will there be a blog on this guy? I thought this guy was just there for the last game I attended, but apparently he is doing this for every game after the All-Star break. I sympathize with this guy's desire to honor the Homestead Grays, but I believe renaming the team the "Grays" would be divisive and counterproductive. What do the rest of you think?

Screech's Best Friend said...

Eddie: I know The Nationals are working with Major League Baseball and The Hall of Fame to honor Washington's Baseball past in some sort of Mini Museum, Hall or other special way--including the championships of all teams. Details have yet to be worked out. Hopefully, more info will be available soon.

Yes, I have noticed the sign in centerfield. Will find out more later.

Anonymous said...

It is a proud day, and days ahead, to see negro league players acquire some recognition for outstanding baseball careers. And, it is great to see the Negro League Players included with the non-minority greats listed. Now, this is what baseball and fan appreciation is all about - inclusiveness.

Keep it up.

paul said...

I had this childish hatred of Frank Howard (I was a child, after all) after he kicked a ball around left field, thus costing my beloved Mel Stottlemyre the decision in an All-Star Game. But I'd say Hondo definitely deserves the honor the Nats have in mind.

On another note, I am listening to the third Dodgers-Giants game, and would you believe the Dodgers had a pregame steroids seminar for about 100 kids? Diabolical.