Edmonton’s giant baseball bat, standing 14.9 metres tall on the corner of 97th Street and 118th Avenue, is no longer the largest bat in Canada.
A business in Saskatoon, Sask. has built a bat that now trumps the one located in Edmonton.
The new bat, which will be unveiled outside the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame in Battleford, weighs one tonne and is 15.2 metres long.
Two years ago a customer had asked Kyle Markusa, the president of Progressive Yard works in Saskatoon, if his company would build the giant bat.
The original plan was to build a baseball bat that was about five metres long — but Markusa decided to make it a Canadian record breaking size.
“It’s a big fun project,” Markusa said. “We really enjoy doing it. A lot of our customers and people that come in are like, ‘what are you doing? Building a bat? That’s weird, but that’s cool.”
The Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame paid around $40,000 for the bat, while Edmonton’s cost $80,000.
The statue has been a controversial one in Edmonton.
The bat was put up along 118th Avenue in the late 1990s in an attempt to spruce up the street, which has long tried to overcome its reputation as an area plagued by crime, drugs and prostitution.
But in 2010, people who lived in the area wanted the improvements along the so-called Avenue of Champions removed, as it conflicted with their attempts to rebrand the area as a centre for artists.
Some Edmontonians feel indifferent about the bat and Saskatchewan’s new one.
“I mean, it’s cool because it represents a certain area, but it also must have cost them a lot of money,” said Andrea Wiepe. “I don’t know if that’s really justified.”
“Good for the Saskatchewan town I guess,” said Aaron Nay. “Maybe we’ll have to do something to step it up. Make this bat bigger, I guess."
Listen in as Jane Shury, the President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Baseball Hall of Fame, talks about trumping Edmonton's bat on Edmonton AM.