The San Francisco Chronicle recently caught up with Richmond artist Ron Holthuysen to ask him a pointed question: Why is the giant baseball glove sculpture at AT&T Park, which Holthuysen created, missing a finger?
The newspaper first pointed out that the glove, which has three fingers and a thumb, might now be the “world’s best-known sculpture of an object” after the Giants’ three recent World Series runs.
But popular belief that the glove was modeled after one owned by the father of Giants executive Jack Bair has been disputed by Holthuysen. While Bair’s father’s glove might have been the inspiration for the sculpture, it was not the one modeled, said the Richmond artist who operates Scientific Art Studio on B Street.
“Jack Bair’s father’s mitt has five fingers,” Holthuysen told the Chronicle.
In fact, Holthuysen said he fetched the model glove for his sculpture at Urban Ore, a thrift store near his Berkeley home. He received a selection of old-school gloves but, since he’s from the Netherlands and knew little about baseball, he didn’t know the difference between old and new equipment. The glove he chose, with three fingers plus a thumb, were made that way in the 1920s, the Chronicle reported. On the other hand, Bair’s father’s glove is from the 1940s, the newspaper said.
Holthuysen also confirmed a rumor that the “eight or nine women” who assisted on the sculpture put their bras in it after the glove was done, thinking it would be funny.
A lot of amazing creations occur at Holthuysen’s Scientific Art Studio. Well-known structures include the play structures at Children’s Discovery Museum in Sausalito, Aesop’s Playhouse at Children’s Fairyland in Oakland, the modern, futuristic warriors for the Rolling Stones’ Bridges to Babylon concert tour, and the new play area at the San Francisco Zoo and equipment for the Children’s Museum of Sonoma.
Read the full Chronicle story for more interesting facts about the glove and Holthuysen.