The Cleveland Indians had a statue of their slugger Rocky Colavito erected outside of the stadium in 2014, but it was removed and put into storage because the team wanted to move it. When they finally decided to keep it, they didn’t want to move it either.
Rocky Colavito, former Cleveland Indians slugger, finally gets his statue, but it’s not where it belongs. The statue was supposed to be in the outfield of Progressive Field, but a dispute with the city of Cleveland led to this being placed on a street corner.
The Cleveland Indians are a club that is always evolving. They should create a new one.
Rocky Colavito, the 88-year-old former slugger, finally had his monument unveiled last week, but it isn’t where it should be. The Indians, who will be known as the Cleveland Guardians next season, will need to make another alteration in order for Colavito’s monument to be returned to its rightful place.
Was Rocky Colavito to blame for the Cleveland Curse?
On July 4, 1959, at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, Rocky Colavito of the Cleveland Indians swings at the pitch as catcher Lou Berberet of the Detroit Tigers and umpire Bill Summers watch on during an MLB game. | Getty Images/Hy Peskin
Some believe Colavito is to blame for the Indians’ lack of World Series success since 1948. Cleveland has been cursed, at least in the baseball world, since Colavito, a popular player in Cleveland, was unexpectedly sold to the Detroit Tigers for Harvey Kuenn in April of 1960. In reality, the curse seemed to start a few hours after the transaction.
The Indians were playing an exhibition game at Russwood Park in Memphis. Colavito hit a solo home run to start the second inning, giving the Indians a 1-0 lead. Indians general manager Frank Lane visited the press box moments after the home run and delivered some startling news. He announced to reporters that he had just sold Colavito to the Tigers in exchange for Kuenn, the American League hitting champion.
Russwood Park caught fire and burned four hours after the game finished, according to The Commercial Appeal.
At first, it seemed that The Curse was applicable to all Cleveland sports. When the Cavaliers won the NBA championship in 2016, LeBron James, on the other hand, helped get basketball off the hook. In previous years, the Browns had been the NFL’s laughingstock, but they have now turned things around. They have never participated in a Super Bowl despite their recent success. The Indians made it to the World Series three times, in 1995, 1997, and 2016, but each time they fell short.
Rocky Colavito was there as his long-awaited monument was unveiled.
A monument of Colavito was installed at Tony Brush Park in Little Italy, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, last week. The idea of a Colavito monument was discussed during the 2019 MLB All-Star Game celebrations in Cleveland, according to Cleveland19.com. The author of ‘Rocky Colavito: Cleveland’s Iconic Slugger,’ Mark Sommer, arranged an event to help promote his book. During the meeting, there was a lot of discussion about the Colavito monument.
“Some of us were chatting that night… Sommer believes that Rocky should be honored with a statue in Cleveland.
The monument remained a topic of conversation for a long time. On Tuesday, August 10, 2021, it became a reality, and Colavito, 88, was present. At the microphone, the former outfielder, who appeared in nine MLB All-Star Games, was emotional.
Colavito choked up as he stated, “Cleveland is definitely my favorite city in the whole world.” “I’m very grateful and grateful to God for allowing me to play in Cleveland. The presence of each and every one of you honors and overwhelms me. It’s fantastic to see such a large crowd.”
The statue of Colavito belongs to Progessive Field.
The statue was supposed to be placed outside Progressive Field. According to Cleveland19.com, the Indians have a policy that sculptures outside the stadium are reserved exclusively for players in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Colavito, who was nominated for the Hall of Fame, had some impressive statistics.
With 42 home runs in 1959, he led the American League in that category. In his second season with the Tigers, he hit 45 home runs and had 45 RBIs, all career highs (140). He hit 374 home runs over his 14-year career and was named to the top five in MVP voting three times.
He spent a season with the Kansas City Athletics after his four years with the Tigers before returning to Cleveland for two more seasons. He also had brief stints with the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Yankees towards the conclusion of his career.
Colavito has been dubbed the “Mickey Mantle of Cleveland” by David Waters of The Commercial Appeal. During his playing days, Colavito was the face of the Indians. He was not only a great player, but he was also a fan favorite who always put the fans first. Everything changed in Cleveland when the Indians moved him in what may be the city’s most divisive transaction ever.
As the Indians prepare to change their name to the Guardians, they should also alter their statue policy and return Colavito’s to Progressive Field.
Baseball Reference provided all stats.
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