HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Local faces helped contribute to a mural honoring a baseball player who eventually became a manager.
The Gil Hodges Mural is northwest of the Pike County Courthouse in Petersburg, Indiana. On the mural are the words, “Gil Hodges. 8 Time All-Star; 370 home runs; 1,274 RBI’s; 3 Golden Gloves; 1950’s leader in RBI’s (1,001); Member, 1955 World Series Champion Brooklyn Dodgers; 1969 N.L. Manager of the Year, N.Y. Mets.” A plaque added to the mural in 2022 indicates Hodges was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. His full name is given as Gilbert Ray Hodges.
According to materials from the Pike County Public Library, the mural was meant to celebrate Hodges’ accomplishments and to bring awareness to the campaign to get him elected to baseball’s highest honor.
The mural is 52-by-16-foot. According to Mayor R.C. Klipsch of Petersburg, the mural was finished on May 29, 2009, after being in development for six months. The artist who worked on the mural is Randall Hedden, who is from Petersburg and has a studio in the Phoenix, Arizona area, where the mural was painted. The mural was shipped to Petersburg where it was assembled. Materials indicate Hedden was commissioned in 2008 by former mayors Jon Craig, Jack Kinman and a group of friends and classmates of Hodges.
Klipsch says the person who had the idea for the mural was Kinman, who at the time was the director of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce. Kinman is the same age as Gil Hodges, and he wanted the mural to be created to honor Hodges.
Klipsch says the mural is on plywood that is attached to a big steel frame. A plaque was attached to the mural in the summer of 2022 after Hodges was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Library materials say the plywood is a type of marine plywood, with filler and acrylic primer. The whole thing was painted with artists’ acrylic paint before being covered in clear coat.
Klipsch says in the background of the mural are the faces of real, local people in the stands. Materials indicate if people donated $100 toward the mural, they had the chance to get their face on it. According to Klipsch, there are people who stop by the mural to search for the faces of family members in the stands.
The mayor says locals are very proud of the mural. Klipsch notes that people do come around to look at it.
The mural is located at 822 East Main Street in Petersburg.
This is the twelfth of a weekly twenty-one-part series that will help educate about some roadside attractions in the Eyewitness News viewing area. Check in every Sunday at 8 a.m. for the next one! Last week’s installment can be found here.