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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nationals Park to Unveil Hall of Fame Sculptures

New artwork will grace Nationals Park soon, as the stadium unveils white bronze sculptures of Baseball Hall of Famers Josh Gibson, Walter Johnson and Frank Howard and a suspended installation titled "The Ball Game" at the Center Field Plaza at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

The dedication is free and open to the public. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. at the main entrance and the center field gates at Half and N streets SE. Omri Amrany, an artist based in Highwood, Ill., created the sculptures of the three Washington baseball giants.

Known as the "black Babe Ruth," Gibson was a catcher and power hitter for the Negro leagues' Homestead Grays during the 1930s and '40s. The Grays played their home games at Pittsburgh's Forbes Field and Washington's Griffith Stadium. Although accurate statistics are not available for the Negro leagues, the Baseball Hall of Fame credits Gibson with nearly 800 career home runs.

Johnson, remembered as the fastest pitcher of his era, established several pitching records with the Washington Senators from 1907 to 1927 that remained unbroken for more than 50 years.

Howard led the Washington Senators in home runs and RBIs from 1965 to 1971 and ranked among the top five home run hitters of the 1960s.

"The Ball Game," by Washington artist Walter Kravitz, is a new public art installation made up of four mobiles with approximately 48 hand-painted figures hanging in action. Each of the mobiles rotates to the tune of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

The D.C. Creates Public Art Program and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities commissioned the works in cooperation with the Washington Nationals, the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission and stadium architects Hellmuth Obata and Kassabaum P.C. For information on the project, go to http://www.dcarts.dc.gov.

Summer Fun Guide Lists Activities Online

The new D.C. Spring/Summer Fun Guide is available at http://www.dcsummerfun.dc.gov. The guide lists spring and summer activities, including camps, summer job opportunities, reading programs, aquatics programs and other activities from a number of D.C. agencies. The guide also includes information on city-sponsored free summer meals and immunizations. A print version is available at most D.C. recreation centers and public libraries, but quantities are limited.

Early Registration Urged For Youth Camp Program

The Department of Parks and Recreation is encouraging early registration for its youth summer camp program.

The agency offers summer camping programs from June 15 through Aug. 21 for ages 3 to 17. This year's session runs a week longer than last year's. Each summer camp will offer five two-week sessions unless otherwise noted.

Discovery Camps, for ages 6 to 13, and Little Explorers Camps, for ages 3 to 5, are also offered. Before- and after-camp children's care will be available at many locations from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 to 6 p.m. For information on camp registration, go to http://www.dpr.dc.gov or call 202-671-0295

Parks Department Offers Red Cross Lifeguard Class

The Department of Parks and Recreation aquatics division offers certified American Red Cross lifeguard training sessions for those 15 and older. Training is at the department's aquatic centers.

The program is free for anyone who becomes a parks and recreation lifeguard. Otherwise, training fees are $100 for D.C. residents and $200 for nonresidents. For a schedule and registration information, go to http://www.dpr.dc.govor call 202-671-1289. The last training session is June 1.

Sessions include conditioning exercises and complete American Red Cross lifeguard training in lifeguarding, first aid, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillator).

Anti-Fraud Workshop To Offer Tips for Seniors

The D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banks is presenting a workshop for senior citizens on financial fraud from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday as part of a financial crime forum at the 4th District Metropolitan Police station, 6001 Georgia Ave. NW.

The workshop will advise seniors on how to recognize fraud and protect themselves from it. Topics include identity theft, credit card fraud, affinity fraud, foreclosure scams, hoax e-mails and Internet phishing, medical provider fraud, senior investment fraud and equity stripping. For information, call 202-715-7476.

-- Compiled by TERENCE McCARDLE


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Baseball Insider

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