SBD/Issue 238/Sports Industrialists

Luminaries Turn Out For Unveiling Of Selig Statue At Miller Park

Selig's Statue Joins Ones Of Aaron,
Yount Outside Miller Park

The Brewers held an "unveiling ceremony Tuesday of a statue at Miller Park honoring" MLB Commissioner and former Brewers Owner Bud Selig, according to Tom Haudricourt of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. Representatives from "some 20 major-league clubs were on hand, as well as luminaries such as" political columnist George Will; Rachel Robinson, the widow of Jackie Robinson; former Packers Chair & CEO Bob Harlan; NBC Universal Sports & Olympics Chair Dick Ebersol; Univ. of Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez; 19 former or current players; and “dozens of formers and current club employees and nearly every member of the commissioner’s office.” Speakers included Baseball HOFers Hank Aaron and Robin Yount, Bucks Owner Herb Kohl and Brewers Owner Mark Attanasio, who along with his wife, Debbie, “donated the statue.” The statue “portrays a younger Selig, clad in a suit, standing with his left hand in his pocket and cupping a baseball with his right hand” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/25). MLB Network's Matt Vasgersian noted he is "not sure that a Hall of Fame cast like that has ever come out, seemingly on their own will, to attend a ceremony like this for any previous commissioner" (MLB Network, 8/24).

TOUCHING SCENE: MLB.com’s Mike Bauman wrote it was a “truly touching ceremony.” The idea of the statue honoring Selig “came from the current Brewers ownership.” Attanasio said that “he was always looking for ways to ‘celebrate the tradition of the Brewers,’ and that memorializing Selig’s contributions in the form of a statue seemed a highly logical way to proceed” (MLB.com, 8/24). YAHOO SPORTS’ Kevin Kaduk wrote the “statue is meant as a tribute for the role Selig played in saving Milwaukee baseball and not as much for his status as commissioner.” Selig “appeared very emotional as the ceremony wore on” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com., 8/24). Attanasio said, "Simply put, there would be no Major League Baseball in Milwaukee without Allen H. 'Bud' Selig." Yount: "I honestly believe that the first statue that should have gone in front of this stadium should have been Mr. Selig's. … I'm not so sure we'd have any of this without Bud Selig" (MLB Network, 8/24). ESPN's Karl Ravech noted Selig is "as revered as the O'MALLEYS were when they brought (the Dodgers) out to the West Coast, when other managers and owners have succeeded in their own cities -- that's what he's meant to Milwaukee" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 8/24). Author JOSH PAHIGIAN noted that Selig is the “sixth owner in baseball to be sculpted and set at a park.” The others are former White Sox Owner Charles Comiskey, late Royals Owners Ewing and Muriel Kauffman, former Angels Owner Gene Autry and late A's Owner Connie Mack. Tom Vandergriff, a politician who helped bring the Rangers to Arlington, Texas, also “was statue-worthy.” (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 8/25).

THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES: In N.Y., Mark Feinsand notes a statue will be unveiled in Yankee Stadium's Monument Park to "immortalize" late Yankees Chair George Steinbrenner before the Sept. 20 game against the Rays. The team also announced that a “tribute to Steinbrenner’s life will take place before the team’s first exhibition game in Tampa next spring” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/25). 

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