BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Don Logan, co-owner of B.A.S.S., could have had a statute of himself erected outside B.A.S.S. headquarters. That’s the “prize” made available to business leaders receiving the prestigious Legacy of Leadership Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Instead, Logan chose to honor someone else — baseball legend and Birmingham native Willie Mays.
“Willie was such a great ambassador, not only for the sport of baseball, but also for the city of Birmingham, and for kids, and all the things he stood for,” Logan said Wednesday during ceremonies for the unveiling of Mays’ statute. The artwork, designed and created by sculptor Caleb O’Connor, depicts the Hall of Famer leaping into the air to snag a fly ball. It stands in front of the Birmingham Barons ballpark, Regions Field, in downtown Birmingham.
Logan, whose family owns the Barons, predicted the statue will be seen by more than 1 million people drawn to downtown Birmingham over the next few years.
Mays, who hit 660 homeruns in his career, won 12 Golden Glove awards and earned 24 selections to Major League All-Stars games, played for his home city’s Black Barons in 1948 and 1949, leading his team to the Negro League championship one of those years, Logan noted.