Statues of Washington baseball greats unveiled at Nationals Park

The long-awaited unveiling of statues honoring Washington Senators greats Walter “The Big Train” Johnson and Frank “Hondo” Howard and Homestead Grays great Josh Gibson took place at Nationals Park on Wednesday. The statues, created by artist Omri Amrany, are now on display in the Center Field Plaza. Below is the statue of Frank Howard:

frankhowardstatue.jpgMore photos of this statue and the other two statues can be found at the Nats320 blog. Take a look at the photos, and let me know what you think of them.

I am neither an artist, nor an art expert, but I have to say that I HATE these statues! I understand the idea behind them…they are supposed to be illustrating motion…I get that. And I understand that this is a signature of this particular artist. But honestly, I think these statues are just horrible. The portion of each statue that is not supposed to be in a quick motion is fine, but to me, the additional appendages that are meant to show motion make Johnson, Gibson, and Howard look like aliens. These statues would fit in well at an art gallery or museum; however, in my opinion, they are far too artsy and abstract for a ballpark. Perhaps I will like them better when I actually see them in person on Monday when I attend the Nationals home opener. I hope so…but I have a feeling that I won’t.

These statues are quite a disappointment. I love the statue of Bob Feller at Jacobs Progressive Field in Cleveland, and I was hoping the Nationals Park statues would be as cool as that statue. Unfortunately, they are not…unfortunately, these monstrosities are there to stay.

Photo Credit:

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Gotta offer congratulations to the Washington Capitals, who secured the second seed in the
NHL Eastern Conference playoffs with a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight.




  1. Jane Heller

    Sorry the statues aren’t what you’d hoped, Shelley. I loved Hondo as a kid so I think it’s great that he’s been honored. I see what you mean about the “alien” nature of the artwork, but maybe you’ll feel better about them when you’re up close. So cool that you’re going to the Nats’ opener. I hope they win. Will Obama be throwing out the first pitch?

  2. Jane Heller

    Maybe the comment I just wrote will come through after all. If not, here’s the gist….I can see why you think the Hondo statue makes him look too “alien” and arty for the ballpark, Shelley. But maybe you’ll feel differently about it when you’re up close? In any case, it’s great that you’ll be at the Nats’ opener. I hope they win. Will Obama throw out the first pitch?

  3. rrrt

    Shelley – while I wouldn’t go so far as saying I hate them, they are, well, different. The attempt to depict motion just looks like lots of extra appendages to me. Like Jane said, maybe they will look better up close and personal.
    Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts

  4. pagevalnat

    Now, whatever the hell they’ve got hanging on the concourse (supposedly on the first base side)…THERE, you lost me!!!
    I have NO clue what the hell that’s supposed to be. (Oh, and ROCK THE RED…Nats OR Caps, it fits EITHER way!!! LMAO)

  5. diamonddiva

    Jane, don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy that there’s finally a statue at Nationals Park to honor Frank Howard (and Walter Johnson and Josh Gibson too). I don’t remember Hondo, but I do know that he was extremely popular with Senators fans, so I think it’s great that he’s being honored this way. I’m just not happy with the way these statues turned out. I really am hoping I’ll feel differently about them when I see them in person tomorrow. Oh, and I heard a report that Obama won’t be throwing out the first pitch because the Nats suck…no, just kidding! I heard a report that he turned down the invitation because he’s preparing for his trip to Mexico next week. Also, the White House Easter Egg Roll is taking place tomorrow, so that’s probably another reason why he can’t make it.
    Sue and Jenn, the statues are definitely different and weird, and I agree that the parts of the statues that are supposed to show motion look like extra appendages!
    Gary, I’m glad the statues are finally up too. And I like the body and head portions of the statues — they are extremely detailed and very well done. And I’m not an art critic either, but I know what I like and dislike where art is concerned. As for the mobile at the First Base Gate, I don’t mind it. I’m not wild about it, but I certainly don’t hate it either. So you see, where art is concerned, to each his (or her) own!

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