New cast, same bronze

Tom Tsuchiya looked around the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery and realized exactly where he was standing.

And yet he still didn’t believe it.

“It’s amazing, to think that something I created will be hanging here in a few months,” said Tsuchiya, the new sculptor of the Hall of Fame plaques. “To look up and see that plaque of Joe Morgan, my father’s hero, is incredible. And to be a part of something like that is truly something I would have never imagined.”

Tsuchiya visited Cooperstown on April 26 along with Josh Rooney, the director of marketing and sales for sports and entertainment at Matthews International – the Pittsburgh, Pa.-based foundry that has created the Hall of Fame plaques for more than 30 years. Tsuchiya, a Cincinnati native, succeeds Mindy Ellis, who stepped down after producing 76 likenesses for Hall of Fame plaques.

The plaque images for Class of 2016 members Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza will be the first sculpted by Tsuchiya and will be revealed for the first time on July 24 in Cooperstown when Griffey and Piazza are inducted.

“I can’t wait for July 24,” Tsuchiya said. “I’m excited because my work is done, it’s just a matter of waiting. So for me, it’s time to party.”

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