Silver Hawks honor Stan Coveleski with life-size bronze statue - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Silver Hawks honor Stan Coveleski with life-size bronze statue

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For more than 20 years, Four Winds Field was nicknamed "The Cove", and to this day, some people don't know why.

"The Cove" comes from who the stadium was named after: Stanley Coveleski, a Hall of Fame pitcher who won a World Series with the Cleveland Indians. Stan retired from baseball in 1929 when he was 39 years old, and relocated here to South Bend. He opened a service station, but later closed it during the Great Depression. He was very active in the community and gave free pitching lessons to the young kids of South Bend in his garage. Coveleski died on March 20, 1984 at 94-years old. He's buried at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, here in South Bend.

Now, to honor the hall of famer and to keep Stanley Coveleski's name alive, the Silver Hawks have a new face to greet you when you enter the stadium. Known as one of the finest spitball pitchers in baseball history, Stan Coveleski baffled American League hitters from 1912 to 1929.

The idea came to the Silver Hawks last September, shortly after Four Winds Field was added to the stadium's name. They contacted sculptor Lou Cella, who has created sculptures for the University of Notre Dame, The Chicago White Sox, and helped work on the famous Michael Jordan statue outside the United Center in Chicago. "I'm a baseball junkie and I never heard of Stan Coveleski, and he's a hall of famer. So that was quite a surprise," says Cella. "This is the first one I've done for a minor league team. It's a heavy one for a minor league team. A lot of people were really surprised that a minor league organization would invest in this kind of a piece."

Silver Hawks President Joe Hart says it made perfect sense, in that the Silver Hawks always strive to be first-class and offer a great experience, "This is just another thing to be the first minor league team to have done one of these.  It's exciting."

Cella, along with his partner Jessica LoPresti, say they had to research everything! They found out Coveleski was inducted into the baseball hall of fame in 1969, and he was instrumental in winning a World Series with the Cleveland Indians in 1920. "The two of us just researched extensively everything. The pose was a little more of challenge because he played so long ago that there really wasn't a picture of in-game action."

Cella says he had to gather ideas from looking at old baseball pitcher photos like Freddie Fitzsimmons, Dazzy Vance, and Red Ruffing. The sculpture dressed Coveleski in the World Series Jersey Cleveland had after they won which reads "Worlds Champions." "This is probably the most unique uniform any baseball team ever wore," says Cella.  "The other sculptor Jessica spent a lot of time trying to get that font exactly right."

"It tells so much of the history of baseball and the tradition back in the time that Stanley played. It's very unique, and my guess is that you're not going to find another statue with a jersey as unique as this," says Hart.

Silver Hawks President Joe Hart says the franchise spent nearly $60,000 thousand dollars on the statue and he says it is humbling, but it was worth every penny to memorialize Stan and his legacy.

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