Howard Cole, editor of the most savvy BaseballSavvy.com blog, picked up some national attention for his endless quest to get a Sandy Koufax statue errected (as well as one for Vin Scully)outside of Dodger Stadium from a travel piece posted recently on ESPN.com by Josh Pahigian.
Pahigian, author of “101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out,” did a travel piece for ESPN.com (linked here) about statues honoring Major League Baseball team history of its star players outside their ballparks.
Pahigian notes that “some franchises like the Dodgers, Athletics and Orioles possess storied histories but not the statues to match.” He then talks to Cole about his campaign for a Koufax statue since 2003, and gathering more than 1,000 signatures on his site (linked here).
“I’ve been to San Diego and San Francisco,” Cole said. “The Tony Gwynn statue at Petco is beautiful, and in a perfect spot, where you can visit before the game and see it from your seat during. The [Willie] Mays, [Willie] McCovey and [Juan] Marichal statues are nice, too, interesting in that they’re blocks apart in placement. All of them capture the exact image you’d expect to see for the player, Marichal with the leg kick. When I saw these, and whenever I see [a statue] on TV, I think, ‘We just have to do this for Sandy.’ And it inspires me.”
Cole, born in East Hollywood after his parents moved the family west from Brooklyn, was at Dodger Stadium for Koufax’s perfect game in 1965.
“The Dodgers do a number of things with photographs, all very classy, and have the retired numbers around the pavilions,” Cole said. “But there’s an absolutely perfect spot in front of the executive offices where Sandy would be just incredible. There’s even a slope in the concrete that would make for a natural mound to place him on.”
Pahigian adds that the Dodgers’ front office is “aware of Cole’s campaign,” and with a $500 million upgrade project still on the drawing board, “plans are under way to create a Dodgers museum on the stadium grounds, but the details of its contents are still being worked out.”
Does that involve statues, of Koufax, Drysdale, Scully, Lasorda … anyone? Let’s get it in writing.