The Dorothy L. and Henry A. Rosenberg, Jr. Foundation and The Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation today announced that construction for the statue paying tribute to Baltimore Orioles’ legendary third baseman and National Baseball Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson is underway. Henry A. Rosenberg, Jr., a friend of Robinson’s for over 30 years, is spearheading the project, while the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation is providing administrative support and expertise relative to the statue’s sports heritage integrity.
Robinson established a standard of excellence for modern-day third basemen. He played 23 seasons for the Orioles, setting Major League career records for games, putouts, assists, chances, double plays and fielding percentage. A clutch hitter, Robinson totaled 268 career home runs, at one time an American League record for third basemen. He earned the league’s MVP Award in 1964 and the World Series MVP in 1970, when he hit .429 and made a collection of defensive gems. Robinson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983 after receiving 344 votes of 374 ballots cast (91.98%). Highly regarded for his defensive ability, he was named as the third baseman for the Rawlings 50th Anniversary All-Time Gold Glove Team. Over his career, Robinson won 16 Gold Gloves.
The bronze statue will stand about nine feet tall and depict Robinson at third base doing what the “Human Vacuum Cleaner” did best…preparing to throw out a runner at first base. It will weigh over 1,500 pounds and be positioned on the plaza between Washington Boulevard and Russell Street, directly across from the northwest side of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Its base is approximately 25’ X 25’ and will include a series of risers leading to the pedestal, which is just over four feet high. Both the risers and pedestal will feature text about Brooks and his career. The sculptor is Baltimore native and world-renowned artist, Joseph Sheppard, who is presently completing work on the statue in Italy. The statue will be unveiled in Baltimore at a ceremony on October 22, 2011. Upon completion, the statue will be gifted to the City of Baltimore.
“Brooks is more than just a baseball player, he’s an iconic figure who is a tremendous ambassador for the City of Baltimore,” stated Rosenberg. “While Brooks was a phenomenal ballplayer, he’s an even greater human being. From player to broadcaster, philanthropist to local resident, Brooks has been a pillar of this community for generations and we wanted to give fans and people in general an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ by erecting this statue in his honor.”
Added Mike Gibbons, executive director of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation, “Brooks Robinson defined the third base position in baseball and we are pleased to be involved in helping preserve his standing among the greats in our state’s sports heritage. It’s fitting that this statue honoring ‘Mr. Oriole’ will be positioned in an area that enables Brooks to welcome fans as they arrive in Baltimore and to the ballpark.”
While The Dorothy L. and Henry A. Rosenberg, Jr. Foundation is spearheading the creation of the statue, opportunities exist for fans, corporations and others to support the project. Major sponsorship levels exist at the $10,000 and $25,000 levels, and those key sponsors will be immortalized with the statue as their names will be listed on a bronze plaque that will be affixed to the pedestal. Anyone interested in supporting the project at any monetary level can visit www.BRMStore.org or contact the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation at 410.727.1539 ext. 3029. Benefits will be available at certain levels and contributions are tax-deductible, to the extent afforded by taxation laws.
You can also follow the statue project at www.BrooksRobinsonStatue.org; www.facebook.com/BrooksStatueMD;
www.Twitter.com/BrooksStatueMD; and www.YouTube.com/BrooksStatueMD.
About The Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation
The Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation, Inc. is an independent, not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to perpetuating Maryland’s storied sports heritage. This mission is executed through the celebration and preservation of the historic legacy of Baltimore-born Babe Ruth, the Baltimore Ravens and Colts and Baltimore Orioles, as well as local and regional sports at the amateur, collegiate and various professional levels. Preserving, exhibiting, interpreting and augmenting the Museum’s collection enables the organization to chronicle and tell the story of the State’s rich sports culture for diverse audiences and future generations. The Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation owns and operates both Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards and the Babe Ruth Birthplace.