That's the question posed by Bryan Burwell in an article for the Post-Dispatch. His position:â†µ
The legendary Musial statue - commissioned back in 1963 to honor the most famous Cardinal of them all - just isn't very good.â†µ
Actually, it's atrocious, never should have been displayed as the ultimate Musial tribute in the first place, and now I am asking the Cardinals organization to do the right thing: destroy this bronze mutation and replace it with something more aesthetically pleasing and worthy of Musial's greatness.â†µ
This metal disaster is a tribute to bad art, not to a great athletic artisan. The hat looks goofy. The elegant Musial looks like a beefy longshoreman with a back too broad, legs too thick, the head too small, the hat too big. The feet, the stance and that tiny little bat that resembles a toothbrush completely all wrong and grossly out of proportion.â†µ
I agree that it's terrible—in fact, I think it's difficult to disagree. The statue's proportions make Stan The Man look more like a Socialist-Realist Worker Hero than a lithe athlete who led the league five times in triples. His stance is as vague and unsuggestive as something you'd find on top of a Participant trophy. And it's unfortunate that Stan himself doesn't like it and never has.â†µ
But nearly fifty years after the fact, we're all out of luck. The statue's been at two ballparks, its plaza is where people have been trying in vain for decades now to meet their friends before the game, and it's even been made into smaller, similarly ugly giveaway day statues at this point.â†µ
As a citizen of Springfield, Illinois, I know ugly statues. Abe Lincoln-inspired sculptors have been trying to out-ugly each other on our streets and in our fairgrounds for a hundred years now, and as terrible as some of them are an ugly statue has a certain character to it. The People's Victorious Stan Musial Statue isn't just an image of Stan Musial anymore—it's its own thing, and too established in the lore of two Busch Stadiums to knock down.