Man Demands Statue For Ted Williams

Man Demands Statue For Ted Williams (fox5sandiego.com / February 20, 2012)

SAN DIEGO -- An effort to put a statue to legendary baseball Hall-of-Famer and San Diego native Ted Williams on the Embarcadero may be gaining momentum.

Local baseball historian Bill Swank has campaigned for the statue to Unified Port of San Diego board members.

Swank's optimism comes amid plans to redevelop the Lane Field site at Broadway and Pacific Highway, which from 1936-1958 was home to the original San Diego Padres.

"I'm trying to preserve the history of this place," Swank said. "When they're talking about putting up a high-rise, I wanted to make sure the history of the men who played here is preserved."

Preliminary plans released earlier this month show the developer incorporating a mock-up baseball diamond within a new hotel complex.

While Swank's earlier pleas for a Ted Williams statue appeared to go unheard, board feelings appear to have changed.

"This is a really important site," said Port Commissioner Scott Peters. "Ted Williams played here.  We want to make sure we commemorate that."

Peters said officials have spoken with the developers about their wishes to remember the past when building the future.

"They've heard the message that we want to reflect baseball in Lane Field," Peters said. "I think it would be great to do something for Ted Williams specifically."

Any public art, or sculpture, would still need public approval.

Williams was born in San Diego, attended Hoover High School, and played for the old Padres from 1937-38 before joining the Boston Red Sox.