Here’s your first peek at the Dave Niehaus statue
While we’re in Chicago for the White Sox series, a group from the Mariners headed to nearby Highwood, Ill., on Monday to meet with sculptor Lou Cella and see how his work was going on the Dave Niehaus statue that will be installed in Safeco Field late this season.
Turns out, Cella is well underway on the project , which is stunning. Rick Rizzs, Niehaus’ longtime broadcast partner, was blown away when he walked into the room where the sculpture is being worked on.
At this point, the statue has been done in clay. That mold will then be used to cast the bronze piece that ultimately will go into the outfield concourse in Safeco sometime in September.
I’ll have more details on all this later today on Mariners.com, but thought people would be interested in seeing how the sculpture looks at this point.
The piece has Niehaus sitting at a broadcast desk with his scorebook opened to the game of Oct. 8, 1995. You might recall that as “The Double” game by Edgar Martinez. Cella used Niehaus’ actual scorebook and the engraving is a clear reproduction of his actual notes and scoring from that memorable day.
The detail on the piece is stunning, right down to one of Niehaus’ favorite “baseball” ties. Fans will be able to sit next to Niehaus on the bench on the sculpture, as the Mariners want it to be an interactive piece given Niehaus’ open relationship with fans around the Pacific Northwest.
The Rotblatt Amrany studio outside Chicago has done dozens of sports sculptures, including Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Vince Lombardi and on and on. Just walking around their studio was a treat, but the Niehaus piece obviously was the treasure.
We’ll have more later, but let me know what you think.