Jul 26, 2018

Statues At The Ballpark

Play At Second Base
Joe Brown (1974)
This sculpture that once stood at Veterans Stadium was created in 1970 by an artist named Joe Brown.  Mr. Brown was a Philadelphia native who had gone to Temple University and had been a professional boxer before starting a seven year apprenticeship to become a sculptor.  He began teaching a sculpting course at Princeton University in 1939 and was a full professor of art at the Ivy League school when he was commissioned to create four sculptures that were placed around The Vet in 1974.  Play At Second Base is one of those sculptures.  It, as well as the other three statues, were removed from the area when Veterans Stadium was demolished in 2004, but they were put back up on the grounds surrounding Citizens Bank Park the following year. 

Joe Brown passed away in 1985 at the age of 75.  Just to be clear, the man in the jean shorts smoking a cigarette in front of the statue is most definitely not Joe Brown... that's my dad.  I didn't take pictures of Mr. Brown's other three sculptures, but I did take a few of some of the other statues in the area that we happened to walk past before the game on Sunday.

This eight foot tall sculpture of Connie Mack was created by Harry Rosin shortly after the legendary Philadelphia Athletics manager passed away.  It was unveiled to the public in a ceremony at the statue's original location in Reyburn Park (just across from Connie Mack Stadium) on Opening Day of the Phillies 1957 season.  It was moved two times since then, first on August 21, 1971 to Broad Street and Pattison Avenue in front of Veteran's Stadium, and finally to its current location on Citizens Bank Way in front of Citizens Bank Park before Opening Day of the Phillies 2004 season.

The base of the statue is engraved with the Code Of Conduct that Connie Mack wrote and shared with his team after the Philadelphia Athletics 1916 season.  It stands the test of time over 100 years later as a solid set of principles.

This statue of the great Smokin' Joe Frazier stands in front of the Xfinity Live building (where those Cheesesteak Egg Rolls came from) across the street from Citizens Bank Park.  Mr. Frazier won the gold medal for the heavyweight boxing division at the 1964 Olympics and was the undisputed heavyweight champion from 1970 to 1973, during which time he became the first man to defeat Muhammad Ali in The Fight Of The Century at Madison Square Garden.

This statue of Bernie Parent and Bobby Clarke is outside of the Broad Street Bullies Pub entrance of the Xfinity Live building.  This commemorates the Flyers back-to-back Stanley Cup championship seasons of  1973-74 and 1974-75.

Finally, this statue of the late, great Harry Kalas stands just a few feet from the entrance of his namesake restaurant in the ballpark, Harry The K's.  It has been standing at this location since August 14th, 2011.  This photo was taken this season at my birthday game.

There are dozens of other statues and sculptures in and around the South Philly Sports Complex, so this is just a small sample.