May 24th, 2010
Thirty-seven years ago when Larry Holmes began his boxing career, the seventh-grade dropout didn’t expect to become the longest-reigning heavyweight boxing champion and own a 69-6 career record.
The man who tallied 44 knockouts also has a street in his adopted hometown of Easton named after him and owns a building overlooking the confluence of the Lehigh and Delaware rivers.
Holmes, now 60, will be honored with a 9-foot bronze statue in the city’s Scott Park. A rendering of the sculpture was unveiled Monday. Holmes said he hopes it inspires kids who don’t expect to achieve great things.
“If that had happened when I was young and crazy, it probably would’ve went to my head,” Holmes said in a videotaped interview with Express-Times writer Michael LoRe. Watch it below.
Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr., who grew up with Holmes in the former Delaware Terrace housing development on South Side, calls it a dream come true.
“It’s for every kid who grew up in the projects, for every kid who grew up underprivileged, for every kid who grew up with one parent and for every kid who had a goal,” Panto said.
The $250,000 cost for the statue will be privately raised by selling bricks etched with donors’ names that will line a walkway up to and surrounding the statue. They cost $125 each. Names also can be etched on a wall behind the statue or on its base for $2,500 or $3,500. For information or to donate, visit larryholmesstatue.com.
May 24th, 2010
A rendering of the future Yogi Berra statue was unveiled earlier this afternoon in the window-lined atrium of the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center at Montclair State University. The ceremony featured Berra, sculptor Brian Hanlon, and museum director David Kaplan, along with supporters and the media.
“The values that Yogi Berra has always presented are the values that we at the Learning Center preach and promote,” said Kaplan, adding the statue will be a great new centerpiece and “an inspiration to many for years to come.”
Hanlon talked about Berra’s significance as New Jersey’s greatest sports hero and a role model for children of many generations.
Berra and Hanlon then revealed a poster of the statue in its future location outside the atrium.
Asked to describe his excitement about the statue, Berra smiled and said simply, “I just want to see it up.”
Posted by Anna Hess on May 24, 2010 2:00 PM
May 24th, 2010
LITTLE FALLS, N.J. — Yogi Berra took a quick look at a picture of the statue that will be placed in front of his museum.
It showed a muscular Berra kneeling in the on-deck circle, gazing upward while holding two bats. The statue is the latest highlight for the colorful New York Yankees Hall of Famer, who won 10 World Series titles as a player and three MVP awards.
“It looks great,” the 85-year-old Berra said Monday after the picture of the statue was unveiled at the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center. “I didn’t know I looked that good.”
While many pictures were considered as the guide for the bronze statue, museum director Dave Kaplan said the rendition came from a 1950s Sports Illustrated photo.
Sculptor Brian Hanlon said the pose combines Berra’s talent on the field, his spiritual presence in the locker room and his impeccable behavior off the field.
“His neck and his hands are just ripped,” said Hanlon, who said it would take him 6-8 months to sculpt the statue in clay before it is sent to a foundry to be bronzed. The cost will be between $100,000-$125,000.
“He’s a baseball warrior,” Hanlon said. “I think as Michelangelo was great at doing this, creating energy and stillness, and would be my goal here, creating energy in this reflective piece.”
Berra admitted there are really only a couple of statues he likes. There is one of Mickey Mantle in Oklahoma and another of Stan Musial.
“I just hope this looks like them,” Berra quipped.
Carmen Berra, Yogi’s wife of 61 years, said that she visited the museum on a class trip about a week ago with her granddaughter, Alexandra. The 5-year-old wanted to know what the circle was outside the museum.
When told ‘that’s where they are putting Grandpa,’ the child reacted quickly.
“You mean we have to come here to see Grandpa,” Carmen Berra recalled Alexandra saying.
Yogi spent most of his time on Monday talking about his favorite topic — baseball.
“I liked to play,” Berra said. “I loved to play the game and I liked to watch the games, too. My wife gets mad at me sometimes because I am taking away her programs. I have to get her a new TV.”
Berra said he remains on very good terms with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
“He has done a heck of a job. It’s a beautiful stadium, everything.”
On his beloved Yankees, Berra said it was exciting watching this past weekend’s Subway Series with the Mets.
“We had chances,” Berra said, not hiding his allegiance. “We just didn’t hit at the right time. They scored all their runs yesterday with two outs and we had men on first and third with no outs and didn’t score. In the last inning, we got to within 6-4 and with a base hit you never know what could have happened.”
Berra said injuries have limited the Yankees in recent weeks.
“I think if we can just hang on till everyone gets back, we’ll be all right,” he said.
The former Mets manager also showed some love for the Flushing team, which won the series, 2-1.
“I still root for the Mets, but not when we play them,” Yogi said.
When asked about his former teammates, many of whom have died, Berra said that’s why he likes Old Timer’s Day.
“I like seeing the guys come back, but a lot of our guys are leaving, the ones that I played with, a lot have passed away,” Berra said. “It’s still good to see the guys and other teams, too. It’s great.”
While baseball has changed since he retired, Berra said the essence of the game is the same.
“It’s baseball,” said the beloved icon who coined the phrase ‘It ain’t over till it’s over.’
“You have to love to play it and I loved to play it,” he added. “Where else could you make that kind of money playing ball. I still love baseball. If I’m not out there, I could watch three or four games.”
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
January 7th, 2010
A sculpture created by Brian Hanlon remembers the firefighters who died ten years ago searching for homeless people believed to be living in the former Cold Storage and Warehouse Co. building in Worcester.
January 7th, 2010
On Nov. 7, about 30 alumni and friends gathered in the stone courtyard outside Smith Labs, part of the new Integrated Science Complex. In the brisk shade of a clear autumn day, they gathered to honor Fr. Pedro Arrupe as the new bronze statue of the beloved and admired Superior General of the Society of Jesus was dedicated.
Fr. Arrupe’s connection to the sciences began when he trained to be a doctor in Madrid, Spain, before changing his career course to a life of service as a Jesuit. His early medical training, however, proved an invaluable gift in the hours, weeks, and months after the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. Serving as the leader of the Jesuit novitiate just a few miles away from ground zero, Fr. Arrupe saw the blinding flash of light from the bomb, and without regard to himself, led his brothers in turning their home on a hill overlooking the devastated city into a hospital.
Though this was the defining moment in Fr. Arrupe’s life, he also guided the Jesuits through the sometimes difficult phase after Vatican II addressed the needs of the Church’s people in the modern world. At the statue dedication, Rev. John E. Brooks, S.J., president emeritus, spoke movingly about Fr. Arrupe’s deep love for people in need and ability to connect on a meaningful level with all around him. Senior Vice President Frank Vellaccio opened the morning dedication by introducing the sculptor, Brian Hanlon, who also created the Bob Cousy sculpture in front of the Hart Center.
Made possible by a generous gift from longtime Holy Cross supporter Stephen A. Lovelette ’78, the statue portrays Fr. Arrupe knelt in prayer, head bowed and slightly tilted, and hands placed serenely in his lap. In his blessing, Rev. Michael C. McFarland, S.J., president, asked for guidance and protection for all those who study and teach in the shadow of the statue and in the new Integrated Science Complex, scheduled to open fully early next year.
Stephen A. Lovelette ’78, accompanied by his wife, mother and several other family members, spoke passionately to the assembled group of his love for Mount St. James, his memories of being an excited new student on the Hill, and about how that excitement still finds him today, even as he drove up Linden Lane to attend the ceremony.
The most moving moments came when Lovelette spoke of his late father, Marshall, to whom he dedicated the gift of the Arrupe statue. He recalled, pausing with emotion, his commencement day in 1978, and looking into the stands where his father waved proudly with a rolled up program so his son could spot him in the crowd. The younger Lovelette then described his father as “a man who would never be a saint, but who did see a miracle in his lifetime — my graduation from Holy Cross.”
Following the statue dedication, invited guests gathered for a reception and luncheon in the Smith Labs atrium, where glass panel walls offer a view of the statue.