HOT SPRINGS NATIONAL PARK, Ark. – A bronze statue commemorating a baseball great was unveiled in Hot Springs on Monday.
The eight-foot statue of historic slugger Babe Ruth was unveiled and dedicated at the main entrance to Hot Spring’s Majestic Park baseball complex. The unveiling marked the legend’s 186th birthday in a town where he had played and trained.
Today’s unveiling is the third bronze Ruth statue in the world. A second statue is at Camden Yards in Baltimore, and the remaining is in Japan.
No public funds were used for the statue. Visit Hot Springs officials said Dr. Robert Muldoon, M.D., the Hamby Family in honor of the late Daniel B. Hamby Jr. and businessman and restaurateur Lee Beasley made the donations that funded the statue.
Ruth hit baseball’s first 500-foot-plus home run from inside the Hot Springs Whittington Park baseball field on March 28, 1918. The 573-foot drive cleared the park’s outfield and landed in an alligator park across Whittington Avenue.
Baseball historian Tim Red was on hand for the unveiling and spoke about Ruth’s fame. Calling Ruth “The most famous man in America,” he reminded the crowd that in 1923 writer Damon Runyon traveled to Hot Springs to report on Ruth in detail, including that he had ham and eggs for breakfast and what he wore when he took the cure in Hot Springs’ famous baths.
“There will never be another man like him,” Reid said.
Pennsylvania sculptor Chad Fisher created the statue. It is estimated to weigh 1,400 to 1,500 pounds.