Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Temple of Baseball

Norikazu (Tom) Tsuchiya has just sent me
some new photos of the
"Reds Legends"
sculptures he made for
the ballpark in Cincinnati a few years ago.

There's a lot of monumental sculpture
being made for sport stadiums these days,
and invariably it's BAD - OUCH - TERRIBLE

i.e. it's ugly and cartoonish

No elegance
No grace
No power
No balance

But Norikazu's work has all four of those fine qualities.

If this were medieval India,
he'd have been making erotic figures for Khajuraho

But since this is 21st C. America,
he's making ball players,
and that's fine with me

especially since these are three of my local heros:

Joe Nuxhall on the mound (he with the annoying knuckleball)

Johnny Bench behind the plate
(the engine in the "Big Red Machine"
that was a dynasty 30 years ago)

And Frank Robinson at bat
(the first great "colored" player
in Jim Crow Cincinnati)

What a sense of volume,
what a sense of action !

Norikazu was born to make
statues of baseball players.

(and I just had to do a post on baseball
while the Cubs are still contending
for the 2007 championship)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

These sculptures have wonderful motion. It seems to be a rare quality in sculpture these days, so it is very welcome to see it. Thanks for ferreting out good sculpture for us to see.

October 07, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

I wonder if you would find sculpture of cricketers as interesting or soccer players or tennis players? I think this is a good example of “in the eye of the beholder” Chris. He is however an accomplished sculptor.

October 08, 2007  
Blogger marlyat2 said...

We have a good bit of sculpture around town, between the Baseball Hall of Fame and the other museums. And there's always a piece on the library lawn and some near the Fenimore Museum. Of course, baseball sculpture is a big part of it. There are a number of pieces (one of Fenimore Cooper and one known as "The Sandlot Kid) by Victor Salvatore.

October 10, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

Omigod, Marly, you live next to THE shrine itself !

Not to impose myself upon you but ... there are no photos of the "Sandlot kid" online -- so if you could put your trusty digital camera into your purse one day when you're passing through Cooperstown.....

And as for you, Mr. Mileham ... ahem... I would very much appreciate seeing whatever statues of cricketers you can find.

And btw -- how would your "eye of the beholder" behold the sculpture at some other temples -- like, say, Khajuraho ?

October 10, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

I'll try and find some for you! Now Khajuraho is a whole new ball game or should I say old ball game.

October 11, 2007  

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