Sunday, August 31, 2003

Giant 'Hot Dog' creators relished their roll

Best of the Bats

By Jim Knippenberg
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[IMAGE] Stephen Geddes (left) and Robert Moore
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
Artists Stephen Geddes and Robert Moore like to quote the old Humphrey Bogart line "A hot dog at the ballpark is better than a steak at the Ritz."

So it's appropriate that "Great American Hot Dog," their Bats Incredible! entry, sits outside Great American Ball Park at Second and Main streets.

It's one of the few entries made entirely of bats - even the mustard and pickle relish - and one of the most whimsical. The whimsy should surprise no one: The two sculptors have 45 years' combined experience.

They began their partnership when Kenner Toys was still in town: "We sculpted the original figures for the first three Star Wars movies and have been working together ever since," Geddes says.

"Working at Kenner, now that was an experience. It always reminds me of that Mickey O'Rourke line from one of his movies - "People have no idea how much adults suffer for children."

Sponsor: Robert Heimann family

Home field: Great American Ball Park

Inspiration: "Really, there wasn't any," Geddes says. "The sponsor asked us to do a big hot dog. I guess if there was any inspiration, it was in the technique we used to keep it light. You don't want to get too serious about a giant (4-foot-long) hot dog."

Time elapsed: 60 to 80 hours, but a lot of that time was spent laughing.

The fun part: "Making mustard out of sawed-up baseball bats. Whoever would have thought it?" Moore says.

The hard part: The ends of the hot dog - getting them smooth and fitting them inside the bun.

The quirky part: "Because of its shape and the way it stands on the pedestal, we had to design it as if it were a boat, with bulkheads and a central keel."

Materials: Bats, bats and more bats, plus a lot of paint.

Find more about Bats Incredible! online.

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