MIAMI (AP) – The Miami Marlins’ home run sculpture is outta here.
The team won county permission Tuesday to move the kitschy, widely disliked Red Grooms sculpture out of Marlins Park to the plaza outside the ballpark. The vote was a victory for Marlins CEO Derek Jeter, who can now remove from the ballpark one reminder of unpopular previous owner Jeffrey Loria’s regime.
Workers will take apart the 73-foot-tall sculpture and reassemble it on the plaza. The artwork, which has been located beyond the center field fence, will be replaced by a tiered standing room-only area for spectators.
The colorful, mechanical sculpture moved when a Marlins player hit a homer and will continue to do so. It also will move at 3:05 p.m. — Miami’s area code is 305 — on game days, and perhaps after victories.
Loria, who sold the Marlins a year ago, commissioned the $2.5 million sculpture for the opening of Marlins Park in 2012. Traditionalists like Jeter — a former New York Yankees shortstop — tended to dislike it, while supporters found the pop art very Miami.
Grooms opposed moving the artwork. But Miami-Dade County’s Art in Public Places board voted unanimously to approve the Marlins’ plan.
“We appreciate the support and collaboration for our proposal from the county and the Art in Public Places trust,” the Marlins said in a statement. They added the new location “will allow the piece to be enjoyed year round in a more public-facing manner.”
Loria didn’t respond to a phone message requesting comment.
By STEVEN WINE, AP Sports Writer
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