It has long been said that the deeds one performs on the field or court are testament enough to the accomplishments of his or her athletic career. Indeed, people generations from now will tell their children and grandchildren about Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, Arnold Palmer, Billie Jean King, David Beckham, and others who will continue to reach a status on par with legends as they achieve magnificent feats that push the boundaries of athletics.
There are those, however, who believe the best way to remember and honor these athletes is not necessarily through telling their statistics or stories, but through idolization. Today, dozens of stadiums, fields and ballparks are home to statues, erected on or near the grounds on which their careers excelled. Triumphant, glorious and magnificent, these statues, in a way, tell their own stories of the people their likeness was created to imitate, much like the heroes and legends of ancient Greece and Rome. Sometimes, however, these relics of honor and glory take on a much different, and more unfortunate, likeness.
We take a look at some of the worst statues in sports:
Bob Stokoe, Sunderland
When Bob Stokoe managed Sunderland to win the FA Cup in 1973, it was decided he should be immortalized as a statue outside the Stadium of Light. Clearly this is meant to be Stokoe delighting in celebration, but there is a somewhat disturbing mannerism here, suggesting a touch of a more mischievous nature. One feels the natural instinct to turn and run, to be sure.
Kirby Puckett, Minnesota Twins
This statue was unveiled during the Twins’ 2010 home opener, depicting Hall of Fame ballplayer Kirby Puckett. Kirby Puckett Jr., pictured here to the right, looks on at the statue, and one cannot help but think of that time you got a sweatshirt during the holidays and forced that smile.
Ronaldinho, Brazil Atletico
A horse-statue of Brazil Atletico Mineiro forward Ronaldinho. There is no further explanation to do it justice.
Walter “The Big Train” Johnson, Washington Senators
This one takes a few looks over to appreciate it to its full potential, but upon first glace, they definitely made the Big Train look like something out of a science fiction horror video game.