Construction begins on Brooks Robinson statue

Construction has started on a bronze statue of Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson that will be positioned on the plaza between Washington Boulevard and Russell Street, directly across from the northwest side of Camden Yards.

Henry A. Rosenberg Jr., a friend of Robinson's for more than 30 years, is spearheading the project. The Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation is providing administrative support and expertise.

In other words, Robinson's glove won't be on his right hand.

The statue will stand about nine feet tall and depict Robinson preparing to throw out a runner. It will weigh more than 1,500 pounds, so don't even think about taking it home.

The base of the statue will include a series of risers leading to the pedestal, which is just over four feet high. Both the risers and pedestal will feature text about Robinson and his career.

The sculptor is Baltimore native Joseph Sheppard, who is presently completing work on the statue in Italy. It will be unveiled in Baltimore at a ceremony Oct. 22. The statue will be gifted to the city.

Sheppard will need to find a really big bow.

Robinson played 23 seasons for the Orioles, won 16 Gold Gloves and was named American League Most Valuable Player in 1964 and World Series MVP in 1970. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1983 after receiving 344 votes from the 374 ballots cast (91.98%).

Who didn't vote for Robinson? I want their names.

While The Dorothy L. and Henry A. Rosenberg, Jr. Foundation is spearheading the creation of the statue, opportunities exist for fans, corporations and others to support the project. Major sponsorship levels exist at $10,000 and $25,000, and those key sponsors will be immortalized with the statue, as their names will be listed on a bronze plaque that will be affixed to the pedestal.

I'm a little short this month.

Anyone interested in supporting the project at any monetary level can visit www.BRMStore.org or contact the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation at 410-727-1539, ext. 3029. Benefits will be available at certain levels and contributions are tax-deductible to the extent afforded by taxation laws.

You can also follow the statue project at www.BrooksRobinsonStatue.org; www.facebook.com/BrooksStatueMD; www.Twitter.com/BrooksStatueMD; and www.YouTube.com/BrooksStatueMD.

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