Sculptor Who Will Make Statue of Rangers Fans Talks About the "Big Responsibility"

Categories: Arts, Sports
brucegreeneandimmortalten.jpg
Baylor University
Bruce Greene installs the Immortal Ten Memorial on the Baylor campus in 2007
In mid-August, the Texas Rangers said that come Opening Day 2012 the team hoped to have near the Home Plate Gate of the Ballpark in Arlington a statue of Shannon Stone and 6-year-old son Cooper as a tribute to the 39-year-old Brownwood firefighter killed at the Ballpark on July 7. Said Nolan Ryan at the time, "It will not only serve to honor Mr. Stone's memory but also to recognize Rangers fans and baseball fans everywhere."

shannonandcooperstone.jpg
Shannon and Cooper Stone
Late yesterday, the Rangers sent one more note about the statue, which will be titled, simply, Rangers Fans: It will be created by Norse, Texas-based artist Bruce Greene, whose works Ryan collects. Greene's work displays in cowboy museums all over the country, but perhaps his best-known work resides down in Waco: the Immortal Ten Memorial on the Baylor campus, a tribute to 10 students killed in a train crash near Round Rock in 1927.

It wasn't easy getting Greene on the phone; he spends most of his days in his studio, obscured from distraction. But we spoke this afternoon about Rangers Fans and "the weight" that comes with such a commission, intended to serve as both a tribute to a father who died in front of his young son watching a game they loved and as a symbol of something much larger than a single tragic incident.

"It's a big responsibility that goes with this," Greene tells Unfair Park. "You want to capture a likeness of Shannon and his son Cooper, and to try to relate the relationship they enjoyed -- not just have it look like 'em, but feel like 'em. I'll have them interacting, like they're walking out of the stadium and doing the play-by-play" of what they've just seen.

"And it's about relationships -- a dad and his son, a family that can gather over baseball and spend time at the ballpark," he says. "Those things are on my mind, and to do that with the sensitivity as it relates to Jenny Stone and Cooper at obviously a very hard time. I want to be sensitive to them."

Greene says he was among a number of artists under consideration by the Rangers, who looked over several portfolios before making their decision. Two weeks ago, he got the call: Ryan's secretary rang with the news that he'd been selected. Since then he's visited with Jenny and Cooper Stone; he doesn't want to recount their conversations, and I did not ask him to. Greene offers only, "I will say this: Their relationship is obvious even in photos" of the father and son.

"And I think if I can get that expression and the feeling between father and son as they walk out of the stadium, that'll translate to the bigger picture," he says. "With the intimacy of that relationship, that'll translate. We all hope as fathers for that intimacy with our sons and daughters. If I can get that body language as it comes across, then it'll translate."


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14 comments
ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

the statue depicts him and his sone but is not named for them.  Its a representation of a father and a son attending a friggen game.  jeebus people calm down.  Its just a sad story that a father died doing what every father dreams of doing when he has a little boy.  This staute just happens to have a little more meaning to some people

just sayin'
just sayin'

Is it just me, or does the dude in the baylor statue look like a young John Kennedy?

Rodknee
Rodknee

A recent, and recommended, novel that addresses the art of statuary (as well as WW I, family dynamics and west Texas) is Stephen Harrigan's Remember Ben Clayton. You'll look at statues, the artist and the subjects portrayed, in different way.

Chuck G.
Chuck G.

I wonder if Mr. Greene can also create a statue of Nelson Cruz at the warning track looking up and half-assily jumping at a ball that was catchable if he had just stayed on the ground and took an extra step?

Josh's broken records
Josh's broken records

I look forward to seeing it with my little ones, and telling them the story when their old enough to relate. 

Anon
Anon

How come firefighters that die in the line of duty, like Dallas Lt. Todd Krodle, don't get statues?  Not to mention numerous high-profile campaigns to raise money for the survivors.

Anon
Anon

How come firefighters that die in the line of duty, like Dallas Lt. Todd Krodle, don't get statues?  Not too mention numerous high-profile campaigns to raise money for the survivors. 

Anthony Burris
Anthony Burris

Sorry... this dude gets a statue why... b/c he died, sorry, not enough. While it's sad he died trying to get his kid a ball but where is the plaque or statue for the one who ya know, is still alive

Chuck G.
Chuck G.

That will be quite a stunning and poignant new addition to the Ballpark. Look forward to seeing the finished product along with the raising of the 2011 World Series Championship banner/flag we won..........oh wait,

DM
DM

Well said, the jealousy and misguided conclusions are driving me nuts. 

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Every time I scroll past the photo, that's all I think about.

sanctimony is fun
sanctimony is fun

because he just happened to die in front of a lot of people and cameras.  this is just the cheapest way for the rangers to settle the case.

RangerFan
RangerFan

The Texas Rangers decided to do this to honor someone that died in their stadium. So get over hit, its their decision to make, not yours. I think Nolan Ryan and the Rangers Organization are great for doing this. 

JS
JS

Dude, you are one sadistic SOB! 

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