Cumberland Times-News

Columns

June 30, 2014

Lefty’s likeness

Statue of baseball great shouldn’t be out of the question

— A permanent monument to honor the contributions of Lefty Grove and his positive impact on Lonaconing and Allegany County is something that’s long overdue.

The Hall of Fame baseball pitcher is one of only 24 Major League tossers to record 300 or more wins. We’ll go out on a limb — not, unsurprisingly, much of one — and say that no one from our tri-state region will ever reach the lofty baseball status that Lefty enjoyed.

Bucky Schriver and Jack Ternent have assembled a window display at the George Ternent & Sons store on Jackson Street in Lonaconing to honor Grove. The display includes photos, autographs, duckpins and a bowling ball from the bowling alley Grove owned not far from Ternent’s, and other memorabilia. It is an attempt to help draw attention to Grove’s accomplishments and to rally support for a permanent memorial.

Schriver, who has become an expert on Grove’s Major League achievements and statistics during a career that spanned 1925 to 1941, would like to see a bronze statue of Grove erected in Lonaconing. But he fears the cost — he has been told it would be about $50,000 — is out of range.

We hope Schriver and others who would like to see Grove’s feats permanently commemorated in ‘Coney and Allegany County, do not sell the project short. It may be that enough organizations and individuals can come together to come up with the $50,000 a statue would cost.

Perhaps the likeness would be similar to the one of George Washington that was erected a few years ago on the lawn of the Allegany County Courthouse in Cumberland — an effort that was led by Howard Buchanan. The eight-foot-high Washington statue in Cumberland was sculpted by Susan Leury, the same artist who sculpted the 10-foot-high Babe Ruth statue at the Orioles’ Camden Yards.

Lefty’s Most Valuable Player trophy is displayed at the public library in Lonaconing. Ternent’s store now has a window display. A bronze statue shouldn’t be out of the question.

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