Williams statue coming to Wrigley

Updated: March 31, 2010, 1:51 PM ET
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com

The Chicago Cubs will unveil a statue of Hall of Famer Billy Williams during a Sept. 7 ceremony at Wrigley Field.

Williams, whose No. 26 is one of six numbers retired by the Cubs, was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987. He batted .296 with 392 home runs in 16 seasons with the Cubs from 1959 to 1974.

"It's a place where I performed for so many years," Williams said. "It's great for the family, because the kids, the grandkids and the great-grandkids will be able to take their friends out there to see it. It will be there forever."

Cubs owner Tom Ricketts approached Williams, who works for the team as a senior adviser, at a team steak fry Tuesday night and told him about the statue.

"He's making a good gesture," Williams said. "He's dealing with the present, but he hasn't forgotten about the past."

This will be the third statue outside Wrigley Field, joining Ernie Banks and Harry Caray. The exact location will be determined but it might end up outside the left-field wall in honor of the former left fielder.

"I haven't thought of that yet," Williams said. "But I do know it will be a meeting place for a lot of people."

The statue may have to be moved at some point because of pending construction on the triangle building, which will house front-office headquarters in addition to bars, restaurants and possibly a hotel. At that point, an Avenue of Cubs Stars may be created with other icons such as Ron Santo.

Bruce Levine covers baseball for ESPNChicago.com.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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