A Pose for Posterity: Bronze Sculpture Captures Pujols as Humanitarian
An Anonymously commissioned Pujols sculpture captures the Cardinals first baseman's caring side, not as an intimidating ballplayer, sculptor Harry Weber says. The statue will be unveiled in Westport Plaza Wednesday.
Harry Weber said his bronze sculpture of Albert Pujols will be a bit unusual. Weber did not pick the pose as he typically does with his sculptures.
“I didn’t pick it, Albert didn’t pick the pose, his foundation didn’t pick it, the Cardinals didn’t pick it,” Weber said. “The donor picked the pose. He wanted to honor Albert not as a great baseball player, but as a great humanitarian."
The at 11 a.m. Wednesday outside at in Maryland Heights.
An anonymous donor came up with funds for the sculpture. Weber said probably five people in the world know who the person is. He did say the donor does not live in St. Louis. Fine Art Ltd. in Chesterfield commissioned Weber to do the sculpture.
A moving sculpture
Weber couldn’t give too much away about the sculpture’s pose, but Thursday, just two hours after putting on some finishing touches, he did share this:
“It moves,” he said. “I like sculptures that move.”
The Pujols sculpture moves in the sense that Weber's sculpture of Bob Gibson moves. It captures Gibson’s follow through on a pitch, as he practically falls off the mound.
“We can do a lot with stainless steel, like suspending 1,200 pounds of Bobby Orr off the toe of his skate after he was tripped by (St. Louis Blues defenseman) Noel Picard,” Weber said.
The picture of Orr soaring through the air after scoring an overtime goal to clinch the 1970 Stanley Cup still haunts Blues fans.
“He wants to stay”
Weber said he enjoyed his experience with the Cardinals first baseman.
“I really enjoyed capturing Albert’s personality,” Weber said. “I enjoyed his company. He’s a really nice guy and is absolutely sincere in everything he says and does.”
Pujols is strong physically and emotionally, he said.
“But he’s definitely a gentleman,” Weber said. “Maybe there’s a little shyness there or somewhat of a language barrier, but there’s definitely not a single ounce of stand-offishness.”
A question of timing
The unveiling comes when Pujols’ career as a Cardinal is up in the air. As a free agent, the three-time National League MVP could sign with another team after the World Series.
“The timing of the unveiling is serendipitous,” Weber said.
“But this whole project started well before the contract was in the works. It started two years ago. The Pujols Family Foundation wanted to get this up while Albert is still a Cardinal,” he said.
The issue of whether Pujols will play baseball elsewhere did come up during one meeting, Weber said.
“He said, ‘Whatever happens, I trust that God has a plan for me,’ and I think he truly believes that.”
“I think he wants to stay in St. Louis, but for him there have got to be other considerations that come into play.”