Those who’ve attended events at SDCCU/Qualcomm/Jack Murphy/San Diego Stadium might have noticed two works of public art outside. One, situated between the trolley station and stadium, is a sculpture of Jack Murphy and his dog. The other is an enormous, very colorful mural on the back of the scoreboard.
According to a plaque at its base, the Jack Murphy Sculpture, created by San Diego artist A. Wasil, debuted during the rededication of Jack Murphy Field on January 21, 2003.
A. Wasil was a sculptor who became known internationally for his work in cast bronze. He created several major pieces. Many of his sculptures have religious themes, such as the installations at Mission San Luis Rey and Notre Dame University. His bronze bust of Christ was accepted by The Vatican.
His 16 feet tall Jack Murphy Sculpture depicts the San Diego Union sports editor and columnist who advocated for a new San Diego stadium. Jack Murphy influenced Barron Hilton, who would move his Chargers football team from Los Angeles to San Diego. In 1965, a 50,000-seat stadium in Mission Valley was resoundingly approved by San Diego voters. Jack Murphy also helped convince baseball owners to bring the minor league San Diego Padres into the National League. The Padres would play at renamed Jack Murphy Stadium until 2004, when they moved to the new downtown Petco Park.
Given current plans to redevelop land under the old stadium and its enormous parking lot into SDSU West, this historic sculpture might not remain here for long. But who knows?
The sculpted Jack Murphy is accompanied by his Labrador Retriever, Abe.
That huge colorful mural on the back of the stadium’s scoreboard is titled The Fan Game. It was created in 1989-1990 by artist Mario Uribe.
The 13 panel mural measures 45 feet by 150 feet, and depicts excited fans cheering in the stands. The mural is so huge it can be seen from both Interstate 15 and Interstate 8!
Mario Uribe’s fine art has been collected by many museums, and he has created other notable works of public art. Learn more at his website here.
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