What happens when the worst franchise in baseball tries its hand at the fine arts? Poop, naturally.
Every once in a while, the Nationals take a stab at acknowledging their history. Well, not their history – no Expos stuff – but Washington's baseball history. As part of this, it was decided to erect some statues at the new ballpark: Walter Johnson, representing the original Senators; Frank Howard of the crappy second edition; and Josh Gibson of the Negro League Homestead Grays.
Not a bad idea. I would have done it a bit differently – I would have skipped the Senators II, and I would have gone with Buck Leonard over Gibson – that's mere nitpickery, and I was pretty happy about the whole thing.
What I had forgotten, though, was that this was the Nationals doing this and that therefore it would come out all messed up. Even if I had remembered that, there's no way that I would have predicted that the statues would have been covered in bronze poop.
That's Walter Johnson. Most baseball fans don't know this, but the Big Train's success stemmed from the fact that he had four right arms and threw five balls at a time, most of them covered in poop.
Here's Josh Gibson swinging his flaming poop bat. Who knows how many fiery, fecal homers he would have hit if he'd gotten to play in the majors?
Frank Howard avec poop bat. Apparently they put “Ernie Banks” on the bat and got his number wrong, too.
These statues, the work of cackling madman Omri Amrany, are mind-boggling in a number of ways. People had to have seen these before they got finished, right? I don't know much about this particular art, but it's not the kind of thing you do in an afternoon. Someone with some authority must have been privy to the monstrosities that were about to be unveiled in front of the park. It's one thing for an artiste to think all that flying poop was a rad, ground-breaking way to express motion, but consider the audience: we baseball fans tend to like our beer cold, our seventh inning stretch music insipid, and our statues conventional.
At least the statues outside the park aren't any crappier than what's going on inside the park. Hey Walter, you've got a little something on your shoe.
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Written by Ryan Moore