Breaking number 42
In case any of you missed this piece over at Vin Scully is my Homeboy, I will pass this along to you.
Brian Birrer of New Jersey spent 900 hours creating a six foot tall wood statue of Jackie Robinson. The Hand-carved statue weighs 273 pounds and took nearly a year to complete. "Brian started working on this statue December, 2008 and finished October, 2009." (Vin Scully is My Homeboy, Aug 2010).
Brian Birrer's blog has more details on the painstaking work that went into creating such a beautiful piece.
On April 16, 2010 the statue had an appearance at the Washington Nationals Stadium. Mr. Birrer transported the statue from New Jersey at his own expense to make the "Jackie Robinson Day" showing.
At the end of the day the statue went home in pieces. Apparently the statue had been tackled, Mr. Birrer estimates the damages in the thousands. What was the Nationals response? They offered him a T-Shirt.
In an E-Mail to the Vin Scully is My Home Boy blog, Mr. Birrer recalled the event and aftermath
"The Nationals couldn't hustle me out the door fast enough!~ The Nationals official who turned up kept saying, "...people are taking pictures, get him out of here!" They offered me a t-shirt for my trouble of driving the statue down from NJ at my own expense and having several thousand dollars worth of damage done to it!
When I tried to contact their legal department about their blanket insurance policy possibly covering my damage, I was totally ignored, until I contacted Marla Lerner-Tannenbaum, who had to lean on her legal people to at least call me back. I've since given up trying to get them to do anything for me because they've made it painfully obvious that I will get nothing but the run-around. Needless to say, I will NEVER work with the Nationals again for any reason.
I would LOVE to have this statue get out to Chavez Ravine for the next Jackie Robinson Day! I was there in 2005 and saw Don Newcombe and Rachel Robinson do the ceremony and I would consider it just an amazing honor to have my statue somehow involved in the Dodger ceremony!"
After reading this story, I felt like it should be shared and passed on. I hope this artist gets his wish, and Jackie Robinson does get to visit Chavez Ravine.