ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Cardinals join Mayor Lyda Krewson, the World Trade Center of St. Louis, Collins & Hermann, and the St. Louis-Nanjing Sister City Committee in celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the sister city relationship between Nanjing, China and St. Louis, Missouri. To commemorate the event, the St. Louis-Nanjing Sister City Committee, with the generous support of St. Louis-based subcontractor Collins & Hermann, commissioned a pair of bronze statues, including one of Cardinals Pitcher Adam Wainwright, as St. Louis’ gift to Nanjing.
“I am extremely honored to represent the St. Louis Cardinals in the city of Nanjing,” said Wainwright. “I hope to come visit the statue someday.”
Mayor Krewson and representatives from the World Trade Center St. Louis, and St. Louis-Nanjing Sister City Committee traveled to Nanjing to present the statue during a ceremony today. Within the coming months, a statue of a Chinese baseball player will be placed 7,000 miles from Nanjing, in Ballpark Village, to complete the symbol of the special relationship between the two cities.
“Baseball is culturally significant to St. Louis, connecting our community through a shared experience for 137 years,” said Krewson. “Through this gift we invite the citizens of Nanjing to share in our passion for Cardinals baseball.”
The two statues were sculpted by Harry Weber, the same artist who sculpted each of the statues of the players in the Hall of Fame gallery outside of Busch Stadium at the corner of Clark and 7th Street.
“I’m thrilled that the Cardinals can play a small role in this wonderful relationship between Nanjing, China and St. Louis, Missouri,” said Bill DeWitt III, President of the St. Louis Cardinals. “I know our fans will enjoy learning about the sister city relationship when they see the statue on display in Ballpark Village.”
In 1979, St. Louis was linked with the city of Nanjing (formally Nanking) and became the first U.S. municipality to have a sister city in the People’s Republic of China. Inspired by President Dwight Eisenhower, Sister Cities International pairs communities throughout the world. Sister cities engage in educational, cultural, municipal and economic exchanges designed to promote mutual understanding. The St. Louis – Nanjing Sister City Committee has sponsored many exchanges that have touched thousands of people in our two communities from school children to corporate leaders. Mayors of both cities have led official trade delegations and given enthusiastic support to our sister city activities.