"How many Pirates fans even noticed that the seven bronze statues honoring the great Negro League stars are gone from PNC Park?"Brian O'Neill asked Thursday in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
"If you want to see Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, 'Cool Papa'Bell and Oscar Charleston now, you'll have to get an appointment with the gent who owns the Sports Museum of Los Angeles. Gary Cypres just spent $132,250 in an auction that will send those four statues west. The other three went for a combined $94,700 to other bidders.
"The life-size statues once lined the left field gate entrance to PNC Park. They arrived with some fanfare just before the All-Star Game in 2006, but largely unreported went the Pirates' announcement this past April that Legacy Square was to be 'refreshed' with banners of Negro League and Pirates greats replacing the statues.
"Memorabilia collectors noticed. They dropped nearly a quarter of a million dollars on the statues at a Cincinnati auction the day of the All-Star Game there. Proceeds are going to Pittsburgh's Josh Gibson Foundation, which sponsors youth academic and athletic programs.
"The huge size of the haul was unexpected. . . ."
O'Neill told Journal-isms by email how he discovered that the statues had disappeared. "I found out about it because a friend of mine and a Pirates fan is a memorabilia watcher and he saw that the stuff had just been auctioned for big money. He told me, I began making calls, and you saw the rest."
O'Neill said that Brian Warecki, the Pirates' vice president of communications and broadcasting, told him, "We announced during our media day back in April the changes to the programming in that space. . . ."
"It's easy for me to believe that and, as a reporter, easy to see how it got lost in the shuffle. Sports writers and TV sports guys are given a finite amount of space and time to alert readers to what they want to know NOW, and at the beginning of a season, that's pretty much all about the team that's about to take the field, not the players who weren't allowed to take a major league field back when. . . .This, mind you, comes from a guy who is a fan, not a regular sportswriter. I wasn't there. . . ."
"Today, we're doing something unprecedented — we're going on record with our hiring goals for 2016,"Evan Sharp, Pinterest's co-founder and chief creative officer, blogged on Thursday. "We're also sharing details about the new programs and improvements we have planned.
"Our goals for 2016:
- "Increase hiring rates for full-time engineering roles to 30% female.
- "Increase hiring rates for full-time engineers to 8% underrepresented ethnic backgrounds.
- "Increase hiring rates for non-engineering roles to 12% underrepresented ethnic backgrounds.
- "Implement a Rooney Rule-type requirement where at least one person from an underrepresented background and one female candidate is interviewed for every open leadership position. . . ."
Pinterest describes itself as "a virtual pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web."
Meanwhile, "The most powerful African American politicians in the US will next week demand that Silicon Valley companies hire more black people after official figures revealed that many of the world's most prominent tech companies' workforces are just 2% black,"Rupert Neate reported Thursday for the Guardian.
"GK Butterfield, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), will meet with executives at Apple and Google in Silicon Valley on Monday and Tuesday to tell them to 'implement a diversity plan that will place more African Americans in the tech pipeline'. . . ."