Artist: Doug Young
Shoeless Joe Jackson
What is the inspiration for this piece?
Almost 20 years ago, I was talking to a friend about sculpting. He pointed to an article about “Shoeless” Joe Jackson in the local newspaper and asked, “Can you do a sculpture of him?” I found some pictures and created a small bronze. After the mayor and his assistant saw the bronze, they asked me to create a life-size piece.
How long did it take to create the statue?
It took about a year to create.
What materials did you use to create it?
The sculpture was created in clay and cast in bronze.
What is your favorite part of the piece, and why?
I suppose one of my favorite parts about this piece is the glove in his back pocket. But honestly, this entire sculpture is one of my favorites because it was my first life-size public sculpture and created unlike all the others I’ve ever done. Many people may not know that this sculpture was made in the lobby of City Hall. Working in public gave everyone a chance to watch the progress and even put clay on the sculpture. It was almost like a community project, from fundraising to putting clay on the piece to the large crowd at the unveiling. I was able to meet people who knew Joe. I listened to their stories and even held Joe’s famous baseball bat, “Black Betsy.” This sculpture will always be a favorite of mine because it is full of wonderful memories.
When was it completed?
The sculpture was unveiled in 2002.