by Chris Harris
There’s a great tradition of sports-themed statues out there. Now Somerset has one of its own.
On Saturday, Renny Smith and others with local business Smith Monument Works were busy outside the Ward Correll Sports Complex on Ky. 2227, adjacent to SomerSplash Water Park, installing a new work of art designed to inspire and recognize youth sports.
“Mr. Correll has the idea that he’d like to have a statue here,” said Smith, referring to local businessman Ward Correll, who provided the land on which the youth baseball facility is located. “He worked with me and Danny Dutton to visualize this and come up with something.”
Dutton — a local artist with several notable works, including most recently the bust of Count Casimir Pulaski in the downtown judicial center — designed the sculpture and Smith did the base on which it sits.
The figure on top will be a young boy, bat in hand, playing the sport often called the “national pastime,” but the base itself is a sight to behold — circular, with a series of inspirational sayings handpicked by Correll lining the outside, with an encompassing message on how to train up a child to succeed.
“It’s both something that’s going to be aesthetic and work with the statue as well as something that we could accomplish without spending a ton of money,” said Smith, noting that it would have been more complicated to build the centerpiece as one solid unit, rather than in multiple parts as it currently stands.
The statue will be known as “The Ballplayer,” and will stand just out from of the baseball cage grounds. The overall height of the base is 52 inches, and the statue of the ballplayer himself will be another four feet tall, bringing the total height to just over eight feet.
Smith said he expects the statue to be fully in place by early this coming week, weather permitting.