Thursday, September 12, 2013

Maybe Mike Carp Should Have a Statue

Photo by Jere
The Red Sox have announced that they will be adding a third statue to the area around Fenway Park. (Well, actually, it’s the third statue right outside Gate B. I assume there’s some permitting issue that stops them from spreading the statues out a little more.) This time it will be of Carl Yastrzemski, depicting him tipping his cap during his last at bat. Yaz is obviously a great player deserving of a statue. Likewise, that moment is certainly etched in everyone’s mind. I can’t wait to see the final product.

I only have one small problem. These statues are getting a little repetitive.

I love statues. I’ve said before that I think they add something different to the park. Someplace to take your picture, or meet up with friends. Some definite visual interest. I love that you can honor players from the past with a statue. It sparks a conversation between parents and kids. “Who’s that statue of, Dad?” “Well dear, that’s the Great Carl Yastrzemski. He carried the team in ’67…” It’s wonderful. But, with over 100 years of history to pick from, it’s too bad the Sox keep honoring the same guys.

Again, Yaz is certainly deserving of any honor they choose to bestow. But, they already retired his number, which is about as high an honor as they can give. So, that conversation between generations is already sparked when the kid asks why there’s a number 8 hanging on the wall. Now the conversations while strolling the park will go something like this.

“Who’s that statue of?”
“Ted Williams. An all-time great.”
“Cool. What about that one?”
“Umm…Ted Williams again. But, he’s with Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky, and Dom Dimaggio this time. They were great teammates in the 40’s”
“Oh. OK. And the third one?”
“That’s Yaz, finishing off a great career.”
“Neat. Hey, what are those numbers hanging on the wall”
“Well, the 1 is for Doerr…again. The 6 is Pesky…again. The 8 is Yaz…again. The 9 is Ted…for a third time.”
“Oh. Didn’t the Sox have other great players?”

See the missed opportunity? I said at the time that I would rather they gave Pesky a statue instead of retiring his number. It would have been a much better opportunity to honor him. For all the players who couldn’t have their number retired, wouldn’t a statue be a great way of keeping their memory alive?

What about Tris Speaker? He didn’t have a number to retire. Wouldn’t he make a great statue? Or Smoky Joe Wood? Wouldn’t the best pitcher from the best Sox team ever be  a fantastic subject? How about Dick Radatz with his arms raised high? Dwight Evans? Rico Petrocelli? Pedro? There are plenty of players to choose from.

Now, I will say that I love The Teammates statue. Love the subject, and love the way it was done. So, I can understand doubling up on those players. And, Ted with the Jimmy Fund kid, and Yaz thanking the fans are great subjects. More than just token statues of a guy at bat. I can’t say a bad thing about them individually.

I just wish they could branch out some more.

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