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!