Are Bob Feller and Jim Thome about to have some company? It appears that the Cleveland Indians have some plans that may include a few more supersized bronze ghosts throughout the confines of Progressive Field.
@AZFromCleveland stay tuned…
— Mark Shapiro (@MarkShapiro) August 2, 2014
Since the plans were put in place in 2011 for the tater-mashing Thome to get a statue beyond center field, many fans have been wondering where the praise is for others to have donned the Tribe jersey. Larry Doby—he of the retired number, the shattering of the color barrier and, you know, an actual championship—tops many lists. Lou Boudreau and others follow closely behind. The debates and discussions have not always to discredit what Thome accomplished, but to also acknowledge the work (on and off of the field) of many before him. Despite the fan fare directed to a certain era, there were in fact players to wear Cleveland jerseys before the mid-90s.
If team president Mark Shapiro’s tweet is any indication, it appears the team is listening.
The whole multiple statues thing is far from trailblazing; the Indians are one of just a few teams to have had (prior to Saturday) just one player commemorated in statue form. Statues of Pirates’ Hall of Famers Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell and Bill Mazeroski are positioned at various points outside of PNC Park in Pittsburgh; Ty Cobb, Hal Newhouser, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Al Kaline, Willie Horton, and Ernie Harwell can be found outside of Comerica Park in Detroit. There’s also “Teammates,” the four-man statue outside of Fenway Park that commemorates Ted Williams, Bobby Doer, Johnny Pesky and Dom DiMaggio.
What the Indians have planned, remains to be seen, but there may be a lot more bronze in Cleveland within the next few summers. And that won’t necessarily be a bad thing.
[Related: The statue that is and maybe shouldn’t be]
(Thomas Ondrey/The Plain Dealer)