Johnny Unitas Statue



(An earlier computerized photo Mr. Kail next to the statue)

Helmet Hut Is excited about the completed 14 foot tall statue of John Unitas that resides in front of PSINET stadium home of the Baltimore Ravens. The sculptor for this project is Fredrick Kail, a highly respected artist who specializes in sports related projects. In the 1950s he produced a popular series of ceramic football figures that are now considered highly collectable and are periodically auctioned on ebay at very handsome prices. Mr. Kail had previously produced a smaller version 7 foot statue of Johnny Unitas that is located at the University of Louisville's football stadium where John was a standout player during his college career. When the Ravens approached John to get his permission for the current and much more dynamic project the humble and soft spoken Mr. Unitas replied "sure, as long as it is done by Fred Kail".

Helmet Hut is proud to be associated with this project. Mr. Kail contacted Helmet Hut with the hopes that it could provide him an accurate replica of John's early 1960s Baltimore Colt helmet that would serve as a model for the upper portion of the statue. Mr. Kail's has a reputation for his attention to detail as reflected in his artwork. The smaller Unitas statue actually reflects the unique style John used to lace up his high top football cleats! When Mr. Kail approached Helmet Hut for their assistance he had also "done his homework" in regard to capturing the details associated with John's actual game worn helmet. Although not familiar with helmet manufactures or model numbers Mr. Kail accurately described to Helmet Hut the slightly flared sides of John's helmet along with the unique two bar facemask that was devoid of the conventional two vertical support bars used in other two bar facemasks that he had studied. He even insisted that the helmet that was to used as the model have the correct medium size leather jaw pads that John wore and the wider opening horseshoe logo compared to today's version. Mr. Kail has the same passion for accuracy and detail that Helmet Hut strives to incorporate into their own presentations. To help complete this historic project we were honored to provide Mr. Kail with an early 1960s Riddell model "RK-4" (flared sides -- six point suspension) helmet with correct period painted on center stripe and thin vinyl correct era style horseshoe logos and rear numeral "19". The helmet also had size medium leather jaw pads and the correct original version of the Riddell "BD-9" facemask (without the support vertical bars) which was generously donated by Hobie Pirough -- one of our Helmet Hut friends.  Helmet Hut also extends its appreciation to Ken at the Baltimore Ravens for his help and the many others behind the scene.