CLEVELAND — A life-size statue of Tribe legend Rocky Colavito was unveiled and dedicated on Tuesday in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood at Tony Brush Park.
Watch the full video of the unveiling ceremony below, which featured speeches from Tribe representatives, local government officials, fans and Colavito himself:
Before the unveiling, Colavito spoke to the press about the honor of being immortalized by a life-size statue:
Colavito, a member of the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame who is also an Italian American icon, was also there celebrating his 88th birthday.
“It’s impossible to overstate just how much Rocky meant to a generation of Indians fans, and to Italian Americans,” said Mark Sommer, a member of the Rocky Colavito Statue Committee and author of "Rocky Colavito: Cleveland’s Iconic Slugger."
"The statue being erected in Cleveland’s Little Italy will reflect how beloved the power-hitting outfielder with a cannon-like arm remains," Sommer said. "Rocky always loved Cleveland and its fans, and it’s only fitting for him to be immortalized in Little Italy with a statue.”
Colavito was a star on the Tribe in the '50s and '60s, playing in nine All-Star Games and recording 374 home runs over his 13-year career, which he spent between the Tribe, the Tigers, the Athletics, the White Sox, the Dodgers and the Yankees. After his retirement following the 1968 season with the Yankees, Colavito returned to the Tribe as a coach and broadcaster.
The clay statue was created by Cleveland sports sculptor David Deming, who has also created statues of Tribe legends Larry Doby, Lou Boudreau and Frank Robinson, in addition to Browns legends Jim Brown and Otto Graham.
Other former teammates were in attendance and Bob DiBiasio, the Tribe's senior vice president of public affairs, served as the ceremony's emcee.
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