You’ve seen it hundreds of times — 534, to be exact.
David Ortiz crosses home plate, puts his hands up, and points his fingers to the sky.
But the signature pose has never looked quite like it did Wednesday at Fenway Park, when a life-size Lego model of the Red Sox slugger was unveiled in the right-field bleachers before the game.
Comprised of 34,510 Lego bricks, the 6-foot-7-inch model nailed the likeness of the retiring Red Sox DH down to the polarized sunglasses and the neon trim around his batting gloves. And of course, his hands are up, fingers pointed, his cleats crossing home plate.
“That’s a very iconic pose for David Ortiz,” said the model’s designer, Lego master builder Erik Varszegi. “Either that or a nice power swing. Either one of them would have been great but the Red Sox were kind of steering us towards this direction and I’m pleased with how it came out.”
The design and build of the model took more than 290 hours of work — and lots of research. Varszegi said partners often provide the Lego master builders with a 3-dimensional model of subjects, but that wasn’t an option for this project.
“We had to go a little more old school, the way we used to do things,” Varszegi said. “I just googled Ortiz quite a bit. Tried to get as many views of his face and features and his body language as I could. And we started to create a 3-D model from that in-house and we were able to import that into our proprietary program that we use and it gives a rough 3-D virtual Lego model.”
While the model is taller than Ortiz - he’s listed at 6-foot-3 - it only weighs 170 pounds - he’s listed at 230 pounds. It will remain on display at the ballpark.
“We like to make them as hollow as we can just to cut down on the weight when we’re shipping these things around,” Varszegi said. “In this particular model we have a steel armature ring up the frame of it, right up from Ortiz’s legs up into his chest and up into the arms, really just for stability because the model’s going to have a lot of public contact here at Fenway Park.”
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