Don’t expect anyone working in Miami-Dade County to get a gift basket from Derek Jeter any time soon. The County has spoken, and it will not allow Jeter and the new ownership group to remove the massive home run sculpture in Marlins Park, according to the Miami Herald.
Though Jeter is set to own the Miami Marlins soon, he will not own the sculpture. It was commissioned by the County, and the County says it’s not going anywhere.
“The County commissioned and purchased the Home Run Sculpture with the public art funds generated by the ballpark project,” Michael Spring, head of the county’s cultural affairs arm, said in an email Thursday. It “was designed specifically for this project and location and is permanently installed. It is not moveable.”
“It is not moveable” seems pretty definitive. It also shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that the County wants to keep it around. The sculpture, which is called “Homer,” cost $2.5 million to make. It’s probably already a colossal waste of money depending on who you ask, but it would be embarrassing for it to come down after just a few seasons considering how much the County spent on it. Also, the sculpture has a name. The more you know!
In fairness, no member of Jeter’s group has publicly expressed an interest to tear down “Homer.” Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported someone in the group suggested the sculpture should be removed. It’s turned into a popular rumor since then.
As the Herald notes, one person who doesn’t love “Homer” is Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, who gave a wonderful quote regarding the giant structure.
“Mayor Gimenez appreciates art in public places,” said the mayor’s communications chief, Michael Hernández. “That particular structure, not so much.”
His opinion doesn’t necessarily matter in this instance, though we find it amusing that the mayor of the County doesn’t like it. That seems appropriate for the Marlins.
Fans are, predictably, split on the issue. There are some who see the sculpture as a massive, gaudy eyesore that adds nothing to the Marlins Park experience. Others agree, but take joy in celebrating that it is ridiculous and dumb. OK, maybe that’s just our opinion. A more serious take would be that the sculpture isn’t hurting anyone or anything. It might be garish, but it’s harmless.
For now, the sculpture is staying. That will remain the case unless Jeter gets the County to relent and give in. We can’t completely rule that out, as Jeter was known for his charisma during his playing days.
Until then, Jeter will have to cope with being dealt his first significant loss in Miami since the 2003 World Series.
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