Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Landmarks, Boston Style

I was watching a Bruins game a few days ago and during a commercial when they panned around the Garden something hit me.  Many of our famous bronze statues and landmarks that we send tourists to check out are sports related.

Is this a regular thing in other cities too or are we unique in our fandom of sports? 

There are certainly the random-historical-dudes-on-horses statues in the Public Garden, Boston Common and other places.  But when they pan over the TD Garden sign & down to the ground during Bruins games the camera rests on the insanely popular, well photographed, and very cool bronze statue of Bobby Orr flying through the air during his famous shot. 

In fact the shot is so well known in Boston it is simply referred to as “The Goal”; I’d wager that hockey fans everywhere know about it though, not just those of us from Boston.

Ted Williams putting his huge cap on a little fan’s head is at the entrance to Fenway, and, as I said, Orr is at the entrance to the Garden but look around beyond major league stadiums and you’ll discover all kinds of neat bronze people. 

At the Roxbury Crossing station on the Orange Line of the T, tucked into a corner of the quad on the Northeastern campus, you’ll find a fantastic bronze sculpture of Cy Young.  Allegedly placed where the exact pitches were thrown from in the original baseball stadium, he’s one big guy watching over the students who come and go from class.

Take a walk down to Gate D at Boston College’s Alumni Stadium and you’ll come face to face with the brown, metallic version of one of the greatest football players ever to grace New England with his talent on two teams – the BC Eagles and the Patriots – Doug Flutie.

Head to Quincy Market to catch Red Auerbach hanging on a bench, hop the Green Line to Kenmore and catch a pass from a bronzed Harry Agganis outside the arena named for him, and if you happen to run the Boston Marathon be sure to locate the statue of George V. Brown in Hopkinton as he stands ready to tell you to go.

Not only are there players, coaches, directors and inspirational people associated with Boston sports sprinkled all over the city but there is actually an entire tour dedicated to the thrill of finding some of them!  It’s called The Boston Sports Trail and quite possibly as important (if not more important) to the residents of town than the Freedom Trail or and other historical landmark. 

Mostly because in Boston, the sports are a historical landmark!

If you want to get more info on The Boston Sports Trail for next time you’re wondering what to do on a random Saturday afternoon, you can check out this link on Boston.com  Not everything I mentioned above is even on this trail, but there is also a lot more than I mentioned in this post, so I definitely suggest digging into your Google searches for the bronze gods & goddesses of Boston and hunt down even more sports greats on your own!

All I can say is I know what I’m doing next time I’m visiting my hometown!


Judi FitzPatrick said...

Interesting, never knew about that "other trail".
Hugs, Mum

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Right? Me either! It just hit me that there are quite a few bronze statues of sports types all over the city & I ran across the "trail" while researching them for this post. Pretty cool...next visit!

Suldog said...

Good stuff! Couple of minor points...

The statue of Cy Young is placed where the pitcher's mound was for the first World Series (which Boston won, of course!) I think you meant, by "original baseball stadium", the one that stood there, and not THE original (first) baseball stadium, since that was probably in New York or New Jersey, but just thought you'd like that clarified.

The possibly more famous statues, pertaining to the marathon, are located in Newton, at the intersection of Chestnut and Commonwealth Ave. They depict two ages of Johnny Kelley, a two-time winner (1935 and 1945) (and SEVEN time second place finisher!) who ran his last complete Boston at age 84!

(As you might expect from my rambling, he was a personal hero of mine.)

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Thanks for clearing that up on Cy/the stadium, it is exactly what I meant actually. I've even been there and should have gotten that right! He's bent over staring down the "batter" as if he could hurl a fast ball any second. And there's even a granite version of home plate just across the quad. Its pretty cool.

Right on about Kelley, that's the stuff I like to hear! When I go on this sports trail next time I'm back I will be sure to seek out his statue too, nice!

Anonymous said...

Katie laughs at my lists I make when I go visit, but I have seen some fun things! This will be on my next one. :)

Almost Precious said...

Athletes have been immortalized in sculpture since the creation of art. They're a befitting subject as they are usually physically fit and also idolized by the populace. For a sculptor the movement and energy of sports makes for an inspiring statue (think of the Greek statue "The Discus Thrower").

Anonymous said...

The Boston Sports Trail sounds neat, I'll definitely have to check it out if I'm up that way again. I'm hoping that will be next season for the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park. (fingers crossed!)

Rosebud Collection said...

I have to admit, not really into sports..although, I pretend for the grandsons..Oh, how I lie..but they love me and give me "E" for effort..