Tue Aug 24 06:18pm EDT
And contrary to the wishes of some vocal opponents on the Internet, the Earth did not open to swallow Beer City at the moment the curtain dropped.
It's a good thing, too, because a lot of great baseball people would have been lost. The guest list at the statue unveiling was impressive with Hall of Famers like Hank Aaron, Robin Yount, Rollie Fingers, Frank Robinson, Ernie Banks and Al Kaline leading the extensive and distinguished guest list. Bob Uecker, of course, served as the event's master of ceremonies.
"Now, we've got to find out how to pay for this thing," [Ueck cracked at the end].
In reality, current Brewers owner Mark Attanasio is footing the bill and the statue is meant as a tribute for the role Selig played in saving Milwaukee baseball and not as much for his status as commissioner of baseball.
The likeness features a younger Selig dressed in suit and tie while holding a baseball in his right hand. Yount joked that the statue should have been holding a hot dog instead, but said that he and Aaron — the subjects of two other Miller Park statues — will appreciate another target to bear the burden of the pigeons of southern Wisconsin.
Selig appeared very emotional as the ceremony wore on and said at a later press conference that he was pleased with the way the statue turned out.
"Given the guy didn't have much to work with, considering I've never been confused with Clark Gable, I thought he did a masterful job," [Selig said.]
As I've said many times before, I admire that Selig is an actual fan of the game and that he has always called Milwaukee his home when his riches (and job as baseball commissioner) could have taken him elsewhere.
Furthermore, this statue wasn't ordered because he became commissioner in the early '90s, it was erected for the work he did to 1) bring the Brewers to town after the Braves left and 2) make sure that the ballpark behind the statue was built in the first place. Without Bud Selig, there's a good chance that Milwaukee's baseball fortunes would have resembled those currently found in Kansas City or Pittsburgh.
Heck, maybe it's not even a baseball town at all.
So for those acting like we've just put a statue of Lenin in front of Miller Park, knock it off already. This was a Milwaukee tribute to a Milwaukee man who earned it.
Now let's hope that a statue for Uecker is next.