The Iron Workers are Back at Joliet Slammers’ Stadium!

You may remember a time not too long ago…say between 2011 and 2020…where a statue of ironworkers looked down the Slammers’ stadium perched on an iron beam attached a building beyond right field. It was a classy touch that brought a nod of the city’s past to a ballpark that is built with iron beams as a main architectural feature.

Nick Jakusz

Well, you may also remember a certain strong thunderstorm that blew through Joliet in 2020. That storm damaged the building on which those iron workers sat, forcing the removal of a portion of the second story of the building and the statue because of safety concerns. (Chalk up another one for 2020, amiright?)

Nick Jakusz

The statue was moved to the area underneath the 1st base-side seats, where the Slammers have their batting cage…and there it sat, scaring he bejesus out of those who walked through that area on their way to field level.

But thankfully, the ironworkers are back, looking over Slammers fans who will be enjoying America’s pastime this season!

Heather Mills

Heather Mills, the Slammers former GM and current CFO, filled me in on the iron workers’ saga. She says the team had tried to come up with some solutions over the past two years, but two things really stood in the way: first, the statues were in very poor condition. The fiberglass material had deteriorated over the course of a decade in the elements, “Their backs were missing, arms were falling off,” Mills lamented. Furthermore, they just couldn’t find a good spot for ’em! Mills said they had thought of maybe doing a bench on the concourse where fans could take photos with them, but the fiberglass was rather fragile, and you can see how that would go!

So, in the batting cage area they sat for four years…one of the fans’ favorite parts of the ballpark and a feature that added to the uniqueness of the stadium hidden away.

That is until Joliet Councilwoman Sherri Reardon inquired about the statue. With a little nudge from Councilwoman Reardon, the wheels started turning again. Craig Smith, who works for the city in charge of maintenance at the train station downtown volunteered to refurbish the statue, which now looks good as new! They also found a great spot for them to sit…right on top of the concession stand beyond third base, where they are far enough away as to not be damaged by fans, but close enough to be the focus of many baseball-themed selfies!

A hardy “welcome back” to the 11 iron workers to downtown Joliet, where they can again enjoy the sights and sounds of baseball again, and hopefully for many years to come. As long as they can dodge those foul balls!

Get all the background in this 8-minute interview Nick did with Heather Mills from the Joliet Slammers!