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Sculptor cleans Gussie bust at Busch Stadium

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – They were gussying up Gussie today at Busch Stadium.

‘Artistically this is called the highlight of the eye,’ says Don Wiegend, the sculptor behind the bust.  ‘It kind of puts the white glare into the eye or eyelet.  Makes it look like he’s alive.

That glimmer in August Anheuser Busch II`s eyes comes from a 400 grit sandpaper, a semi chrome polish and a whole lot of elbow grease.

Sculptor Don Wiegend and his team make this yearly tradition since 1989 to clean up the beer baron.

‘You notice the hands are getting greener,’ says Wiegend.  ‘That’s just the normal turning of the bronze.  As it ages the copper wants to turn green.’

The former Cardinal owner sat for sculptor Wiegend in 1982.

He included some of Gussie’s favorite things on this work of fine art.

‘He said his Anheuser pin which is covered right here, his Legion of Merit award and his Ram’s cane,’ says Wiegend.

The Redbird owner sat inside the old stadium by the ticket entrance facing home plate.

But these days he watches folks walking into the stadium.

‘As he greets the fans here that we all recognize it`s the players it’s the fans it’s everybody together that works to make it work,’ says Wiegend.

Some of this bronze is polished and buffed; some is simply aging thanks to the outdoor elements.

As the redbirds make a late summer run, it’s good to know there’s still a glimmer of hope in an old man’s eyes.

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