MORRIE SILVER STATUE DEDICATION JULY 25, 2007
Silver, a very successful and civic-minded local businessman, spearheaded a community stock drive on November 26, 1956 to buy the Red Wings baseball franchise and stadium from the St. Louis Cardinals and in this effort, saved baseball for Rochester.
Silver launched the stock drive which became known as “The 72-day Miracle” to preserve professional baseball in his hometown when the St. Louis Cardinals announced that they would no longer operate their franchise in Rochester. In the end, 8,222 shareholders bought stock in the team in order to keep them in Rochester. Silver covered the shortfall with his own dollars and bank loans and on February 27, 1957 Silver presented the Cardinals with a check for $500,000.
“Saving baseball in Rochester in the ‘50’s has allowed us to operate one of the most storied franchises in the history of minor league baseball throughout all these years, on a continuous basis. I’m sure my dad would be proud that this community has appreciated the team, and his efforts. He was known to say that he ‘couldn’t imagine a city like Rochester without a baseball team.’ Thanks to him, we’ve never had that problem,” said Naomi Silver, Red Wings Chairman of the Board and daughter of Morrie and Anna Silver.
“For over a century, Red Wings baseball has contributed greatly to our economic vitality and quality of life,” said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks. “Thanks to Morrie Silver’s leadership, his love of baseball, and his extraordinary commitment to our community, we are now recognized as one of the best minor league sports towns in America. This year, as we celebrate the 50 th anniversary of Rochester Community Baseball, we also celebrate Morrie Silver, and this statue will be an enduring reminder of his remarkable legacy.”
“This is a fitting memorial to Morrie Silver. The old Silver Stadium and Morrie Silver Way were named after him for good reason,” said Rochester Mayor Robert J. Duffy.” “As a result of his passion and his ability to rally the community to change the course of baseball in Rochester, millions of fans have poured into our city to enjoy the very best of minor league baseball. I would like to thank Anna and Naomi Silver, the Red Wings’ front office and the Rochester Community Baseball Board for carrying on his mission for the benefit of our community.”
Baseball Hall of Famer Earl Weaver, a close friend of Mr. Silver, was also on hand for the statue unveiling. Also in attendance for the statue's unveiling: International League President Randy Mobley and "Mr. Baseball" in Rochester, Joe Altobelli.
About the artist
Dejan Pejovic was born in Yugoslavia and immigrated to the United States in 1957. He studied art at City and Guilds School of Art in London, England, Tyler School of Art in Rome, Italy, and York University in Toronto, Canada. The Morrie Silver Memorial is his third public commission in the Rochester area.