CLEVELAND — One of the most popular players in Cleveland Indians history was honored on Tuesday when a statue of Rocky Colavito was unveiled and dedicated in Little Italy.
The unveiling and dedication took place at Tony Brush Park on Mayfield Road.
Considered one of Cleveland's most popular ballplayers and an Italian American icon, Colavito earned four of his nine career All-Star appearances while playing for the Indians. Over the course of two stints that spanned eight seasons with Cleveland (1955-1959, 1965-1967), the outfielder hit for a .267 average (.856 OPS), 190 home runs and 574 RBI, including American League highs of 42 home runs in 1959 and 108 RBI in 1965.
“It’s impossible to overstate just how much Rocky meant to a generation of Indians fans, and to Italian Americans,” Mark Sommer, a member of the Rocky Colavito Statue Committee and author of the 2019 book Rocky Colavito: Cleveland’s Iconic Slugger said in a statement. “The statue being erected in Cleveland’s Little Italy will reflect how beloved the power-hitting outfielder with a cannon-like arm remains. Rocky always loved Cleveland and its fans, and it’s only fitting for him to be immortalized in Little Italy with a statue.”
In February, Cuyahoga County Council approved $70,000 in funds for the statue. Altogether, the Rocky Colavito Statue Committee raised almost $200,000 in funds for the project, including $10,000 donations from the Cleveland Indians, Minute Men Staffing Services, and William McKee and $5,000 donations from Paul and Karen Dolan, Robert Falls, Terry Francona, Tom and Jan Hablitzel, and the Northern Ohio Italian American Foundation.
You can watch Tuesday's unveiling in the player below (the program begins at the 1:10:00 mark)