Landscaping plans for Baseball Hall of Famer Jake Beckley's memorial to be scaled down

Posted: Jul. 28, 2012 6:32 pm Updated: Nov. 29, 2014 12:19 am

Herald-Whig Senior Writer

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- A memorial for Hannibal native Jake Beckley, a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, will get a facelift, but some previous plans have been rejected as too expensive.

Andy Dorian, director of the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department, said officials are "tossing around multiple ideas" and hope to have a fitting memorial in place by next year.

"I have budgeted $30,000 for the monument, plus the improvement of the landscaping in the area of the monument," Dorian said.

"It's more of a landscaping project than the design of a specific memorial."

Although previous plans were never put out for bids, Dorian said the cost would have been far higher than the $30,000 limit he has set for the project. A plaque dedicated to Beckley already exists. Dorian said his staff just plans to dress up the area.

The memorial is located along Main Street not far from the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum. A sidewalk project in that area will need to be completed before additional landscaping or upgrades move forward, Dorian said.

Beckley was born in Hannibal on Aug. 4, 1867, and he died June 25, 1918, in Kansas City, Mo. He played for the Pittsburgh Allegheneys, Pittsburgh Burghers, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Giants, Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals in a career that spanned 19 years. He had a .309 lifetime batting average, accumulating 2,930 hits and 1,578 runs batted in. Beckley was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971.

Hannibal officials hope the memorial will be one additional site that attracts tourist attention in the downtown area.