The world’s third bronze statue of Babe Ruth will be dedicated on Ruth’s birthday next year, at the main entrance to Hot Springs’ Majestic Park baseball complex, where Ruth played in the early 20th Century. Majestic Park is a brand new five-field complex in Hot Springs that offers a full schedule of spring and summer tournaments.
Ruth played and trained at Majestic Park, as did other Hall of Famers such as Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron and dozens of others.
“Babe’s birthday- February 6- is the perfect time for Hot Springs to erect this eight-foot bronze statue showing him watching after smashing another home run ball over the fence,” Visit Hot Springs CEO Steve Arrison said. “It will stand at the entrance to the complex, welcoming fans to Majestic Field, ‘Where Baseball’s Past Meets Baseball’s Future.’
There are only two other bronze statues of Babe Ruth in the world: one in Japan and one at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. Hot Springs’ statue will memorialize him as a “baseball immortal” who enjoyed coming to Hot Springs, or ‘The Birthplace of Major League Baseball Spring Training.’
The Babe Ruth sculpture, created by Pennsylvania sculptor Chad Fisher, was funded by Hot Springs residents, Oncologist Dr. Robert Muldoon; the Hamby Family of Sigma Supply (in honor of the late Daniel B. Hamby Jr.); and local real estate mogul Lee Beasley.
“These three donors have enabled us to create an artwork that will stand as an object of pride for our city and also as a guiding light for the kids of Hot Springs who will benefit for years to come from the healthy recreational opportunity
Majestic Park will provide for them and future generations,” said Minnie Lenox, a member of the board of directors of The Friends of Majestic Park, the private nonprofit organization that led the drive to fund the Babe Ruth statue as well as provide support for the complex. “All Hot Springs residents are grateful to them for their generosity and for their affection for their hometown as shown by their support of this project.”
The idea for forming The Friends of Majestic Park was that of Mike Dugan. The late Hot Springs resident was an avid baseball historian and led the effort to establish Hot Springs as The Birthplace of Major League Baseball Springs Training. Dugan passed away in early 2021.
“Mike would be thrilled beyond belief to see the installation of the Babe Ruth statue at Majestic Park, which was his fondest dream as a place for Hot Springs kids to enjoy the game that was his great passion in life,” said Susan Dugan, his wife and a member of The Friends of Majestic Park.
Noted Babe Ruth historian Bill Jenkinson, who also was instrumental in researching Hot Springs’ role in baseball history, has been consulting with sculptor Fisher on the statue project to ensure that every detail is accurate. The sculpture will depict Ruth in his New York Yankees uniform just after he has swung the bat, watching as another home run sails toward the outfield fence.
Arrison said the statue is certain to become a tourism attraction in its own right.
“Baseball fans from everywhere will come to see this monument to the most famous man who ever played the game,” he said. “It will outlast all of us and stand tall in front of Majestic Park for future generations to remind them of the history of the site and our community.”
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