Last week Gothamist reported on Major League Baseball’s plan to place forty-two 8-1/2 feet tall Statues of Liberty covered in the logos of past and present teams around New York City in preparation for the All-Star Game on July 15th at Yankee Stadium. As this is the final season for “The House that Ruth Built,” the MLB brain trust figures this campaign will provoke excitement for the game and provide spinoff revenue in the form of 9-inch replicas that collectors willing to spend money on anything with their favourite team’s insignia will purchase and quickly turn around on eBay.
Upon seeing the design for Toronto, we pictured former mayor Mel Lastman launching a campaign to bring the Blue Jays statue back to Toronto or heaping praise in the same way he beamed about the moose that covered the city in 2000. The main difference is the moose project allowed artists latitude in decorating the base creature and allowed a variety of sponsors, while MLB’s project smells like just another ad campaign.
Imagine if the same idea had been used by the NHL during the last season Maple Leaf Gardens was in use—would Toronto have seen replica CN Towers on downtown corners in honour of the legendary venue? Where would statues celebrating the Canadiens and Red Wings have been placed to minimize physical damage?
Perhaps the designers haven’t gone far enough and should include the face of each team’s mascot in place of Lady Liberty. Too bad the Montreal Expos are no more; the Statue of Youppi would be a thing of beauty.
Photos of the replicas courtesy of Major League Baseball