MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — As a tribute to its deep connection to Major League Baseball, the city of Mobile plans to create a “Hall of Fame Courtyard” near the Mobile Convention Center and Cooper Riverside Park that will honor the five Mobilians who have been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame so far.
The courtyard will include life-sized bronze statues of Hall of Famers Satchel Paige, Henry “Hank” Aaron, Billy Williams, Ozzie Smith and Willie Lee McCovey. Each statue will be mounted on pedestals near the entrance to the park. The display will be visible from Water Street and will sit between the Author R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center and the Mobile Alabama Cruise Terminal. Visit Mobile CEO, David Clark saying “250 Thousand people come into this building right here and we have 250 thousand cruisers that come in over here, a half million people to see all of the great thing that our Mobilians have done.”
“These all-stars represent the best of our City, and through this display, they can continue to inspire new generations to strive for greatness in everything they do,” Mayor Sandy Stimpson said. “As City Councilman John Williams said, we want to always have at least one unoccupied pedestal that reads “Future Hall of Famer” so young people can stand on it, take photographs and show their aspirations to one day join the ranks of these athletic superstars. This courtyard is as much about our future as our past.”
Plans for the “Hall of Fame Courtyard” were unveiled during a ceremony with World Series Champion Cleon Jones, who is a Major League Baseball legend in his own right. Jones has worked with the City of Mobile for some time on this tribute to some of the great baseballers from our community. In fact, Jones himself once shared the field with Willie McCovey and Hank Aaron during an MLB All-Star Game.
“To have three Mobilians on the same All-Star Team, that’s just unheard of,” Jones said. “Our kids should know all of this history, and I hope it does for them what it did for me. Hank Aaron was my idol as a teenager growing up in Mobile, and that propelled me to want to be a Major League Baseball player.”
Read the biographies of the five players featured below: