Brooklyn-born sculptor Stanley Bleifeld has died. When we were in D.C. earlier this month we saw his “Lone Sailor” at the U.S. Navy Memorial near the National Archives. If you believe you have seen this elsewhere, you may be correct; copies stand in nearly a dozen cities across the country. The World War II navy veteran was equally renowned for “The Homecoming,” his tribute to the always emotional return of a sailor to port and family. A lifelong Brooklyn Dodger fan, Bleifeld executed “Pitcher” and “Catcher” at the Baseball Hall of Fame in the late 90s. This work depicts southpaw Johnny Podres throwing to Roy Campanella in game seven of the 1955 World Series.
Bleifeld was active up to the end. Satchel Paige’s daughter Linda Paige Shelby unveiled Bleifeld’s homage to her father at the Hall of Fame in 2006. Just three years ago the octogenarian completed “It Seemed Like Reaching for the Moon.” This eighteen-piece tribute to the Civil Rights Movement in Richmond, Virginia was a fitting culmination to a varied and prolific career.