Coors Field’s “Evolution of the Ball” sculpture is missing
Local artist Lonnie Hanzon, who designed the sculpture more than 25 years ago, grew concerned when plans for McGregor Square did not include his works.
DENVER — When people walk into Coors Field for opening day, they may notice that a sculpture that had long stood outside the stadium is missing.
The project was inspired by the humor that has welcomed thousands of Rockies fans for over 25 years.
“They wanted a statement piece, so it started as a joke,” said local artist Lonnie Hanzon. “We started in 1994 and finished it in 1995.”
He created the “Evolution of the Ball” sculpture that spanned the 20th Street Pedestrian Bridge leading to Coors Field in lower downtown Denver.
“There’s a home base, second, third in terms of panels,” Hanzon said. “And there are 108 terra cotta panels because there are 108 stitches in a baseball.”
Hanzon says he was happy to see baseball fans interact with his works for years, until he saw plans for a new development.
“I saw a great rendering of McGregor [Square] and the sculpture wasn’t there,” he said. “And I thought, ‘That’s an awfully big object to omit from a drawing.'”
His fears were not unfounded. The sculpture now sits at an offsite location, but Hanzon said he was told the structure would be installed by the end of the year.
“Then we started negotiations to save him and move him to a suitable location,” he said. “We were promised it would be ready by December 31, 2022.”
Hanzon says he hopes his sculpture will last for generations and bring smiles to more baseball fans for many years to come, because it wouldn’t be funny if it disappeared.
“You get a really big audience with public art and that’s a real blessing,” he said. “I have to admit it wasn’t an easy process. I think it’s really wonderful that the Rockies decided to do the right thing and put it all back together.”
Hanzon said the “Evolution of the Ball” sculpture is a tribute to the Mizpah Arch that stood a century ago outside Union Station, a few blocks away.
“I really can’t wait to see it again,” he said.
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