“There are many beautiful statues of Ted Williams….But Franc captured something that nobody else ever has, when I look into the face of his statue, I see my Dad.” Claudia Williams.

I will never forget the look on the face of Claudia Williams when she said those words to me through eyes brimming with tears. Could an artist receive any greater tribute? “Franc has captured something nobody else ever has”.

It was a magical day. I was writing a story for the local paper the Venice Gondolier so I was afforded all the perks and privileges of all the big shots from the Boston papers and I made the most of it.  I spoke with Dom DiMaggio, Rico Petrocelli and spent a good deal of time with Luis Tiant.

L to R Rico Petrocelli, Luis Tiant and Dom Dimaggio applaud Franc, standing in the back. 

Present on the stage that day was this man.

His name is Hank, Hank Evanish. Hank is a very successful business man from Taylor Pennsylvania. He has designed golf courses and he owns a chain of health clubs throughout Pennsylvania. Franc’s hometown is Scranton Pennsylvania and he sculpted a statue to honor the coal miners of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania and that is how Hank became aware of his work.

It just so happens that Hank was also a veteran of the Korean War. In fact he was a US Marine flyer and when he went to flight school, one of his instructors was a guy named Ted Williams. When Ted Passed away in July of 2002, Hank wanted to do something to honor his memory. It was his initial vision and generosity which energized the entire project and ultimately brought he and Franc together. And on this day in Hernando Florida, he saw it all come to fruition.

For me the day was as great as any Christmas I ever enjoyed as a kid. I talked with Rico Petrocelli about the magic of the 1967 Red Sox. Luis Tiant regaled me with stories of the 1975 World Series. I got to tell Dom DiMaggio that he was the best defensive outfielder my Dad ever saw and that he was his favorite player. The specifics of those conversations have faded from my memory. However what will forever be etched there will be the face of Claudia Williams and the sound in her voice when she said, “Franc has captured something that nobody else ever has, when I look into the face of his statue, I see my dad.”

Claudia Williams acknowledges the crowd on the day of the dedication of her Dad’s statue in Hernando Florida. In front of her is Hall of Famer Monte Irvin. 

Franc Talarico had come to know Ted Williams. He came to know the heart of the man who sat by the bedside of kids dying with cancer. He came to know the heart of a father, the heart he shared with his little girl.

And this glorious ride had one more stop. Boston, and Fenway Park.

to be continued…..

              And so it was, at this time in Fenway Park history, autumn 2003. 


About fenwaypark100

Hello and welcome, my name is Raymond Sinibaldi. An educator for more than two decades, a baseball fan for nearly 60 years, I have authored four books about baseball and her glorious history; with a fifth on the way in late spring of 2015; the first, The Babe in Red Stockings which was co-authored with Kerry Keene and David Hickey. It is a chronicle of Babe's days with the Red Sox. We also penned a screenplay about Babe's Red Sox days so if any of you are Hollywood inclined or would like to represent us in forwarding that effort feel free to contact me through my email. In 2012 we three amigos published Images of Fenway Park in honor of the 100th birthday of Fenway Park. That led to the creation of this blog. The following year, 2013 came my first solo venture, Spring Training in Bradenton and Sarasota. This is a pictorial history of spring training in those two Florida cities. The spring of 2014 brought forth the 1967 Red Sox, The Impossible Dream Season. The title speaks for itself and it also is a pictorial history. Many of the photos in this book were never published before. The spring of 2015 will bring 1975 Red Sox, American League Champions. Another pictorial effort, this will be about the Red Sox championship season of 1975 and the World Series that restored baseball in America. I was fortunate enough to consult with sculptor Franc Talarico on the “Jimmy Fund” statue of Ted Williams which stands outside both Fenway Park and Jet Blue Park Fenway South, in Fort Myers Florida. That story is contained in the near 300 posts which are contained herein. This blog has been dormant for awhile but 2015 will bring it back to life so jump on board, pass the word and feel free to contact me about anything you read or ideas you may have for a topic. Thanks for stopping by, poke around and enjoy. Autographed copies of all my books are available here, simply click on Raymond Sinibaldi and email me.
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