Dedicated by the Alabama-Mississippi Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society as a tribute to Barons owner Don Logan, the sculpture was created by local artists Caleb O’Conner.
The statue unveiling ceremony will take place Wednesday, July 20, at 4:00 p.m. on the 14th Street side of Regions Field, near the Serra Kia plaza at the main gate.
O’ Connor was commissioned to create a sculpture depicting hometown legend, Willie Mays, paying tribute to his time playing for the Birmingham Black Barons and artist Craig Wedderspoon, also a local artist, cast the bronze. The result of O’Connor and Wedderspoon’s efforts is Willie Mays, a remarkable bronze sculpture of Mays making an iconic catch in front of an outfield fence.
In 1997, the Alabama-Mississippi Chapter of the National MS Society created the Legacy of Leadership campaign to honor area leaders who have bettered our lives by finding creative solutions to community problems. Families recognized by the Legacy of Leadership campaign are those who have grown the arts, looked after the unfortunate, built businesses, and created opportunity – people of vision.
Each year, the board of the Alabama-Mississippi Chapter chooses an individual or family to honor through the Legacy of Leadership campaign. In recognition of such leaders, a commissioned piece of artwork is created and donated to the city along with a plaque describing the person or family’s accomplishments.
Additional money raised during the campaign goes to support the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s vision of creating a world free of MS. The Legacy campaign thus accomplishes three important objectives: 1) Immortalizing Birmingham’s greatest visionary leaders, 2) Allowing the community to receive a wonderful piece of public artwork, and 3) Raise critical funds for the battle against multiple sclerosis.
The Legacy of Leadership campaign is responsible for many of Birmingham’s notable pieces ofpublic art including Prime Matter at the McWane Center (commissioned in honor of Joseph S. Bruno), the statue of John M. Harbert, III, at the Regions-Harbert Plaza, Sentient Matrix (commissioned in honor of M. Miller Gorrie) by Sara Garden Armstrong at the Civitan International Research Center Atrium on the campus of UAB, the Financial Center’s Winged Victory honoring Fred Sington, and the statue of Charles Linn in Linn Park.