The Milwaukee Brewers announced this week that they will erect a statue of former Brewers owner and current MLB commissioner Bud Selig in front of their stadium this summer. (Readers may insert their favorite Beavis and Butthead reference here.)
I’m not sure whose idea this was, but Selig might want to tell them to reconsider this honor. Nothing against Selig, but honoring any team owner or former team owner with a statue is asking for trouble.
Athletes provoke warm, fuzzy feelings in fans. Put up a statue of Willie Mays (San Francisco), Roberto Clemente (Pittsburgh), Bob Feller (Cleveland), Al Kaline (Detroit) or Ted Kluszewski (Cincinnati) and you’ll not only have a work of art, you’ll soon have a popular gathering spot for fans of all ages. The gloomiest, most miserable people on Earth will hand $500 cameras to total strangers so they can pose with the statue for their Christmas card photo, hugging the figure more tightly than their own spouses. Kids will climb all over the statue, and their parents will be so busy snapping photos they’ll forget to warn the kids they might fall and break their arms. Grandparents will point to the statue and tell stories about the player to their grandkids, with such emotion that pigeons will go to the bathroom elsewhere out of respect.