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Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame to redo Brandi Chastain plaque

The Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame announced Tuesday it will redo a plaque honoring South Bay soccer icon Brandi Chastain amid widespread criticism of the original.
“We’re going to redo it,” said Kevin O’Brien, the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame president and chief executive officer. “We weren’t happy with the rendering. It was not a great job.”
The plaque honoring Chastain upon her enshrinement into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in San Francisco on Monday evening was widely panned on social media, featuring a bronze face that not only didn’t look much like her but didn’t even look female.
Chastain, 49, of San Jose, was a two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold-medalist who also has worked as a coach and sports broadcaster. She played for the United States women’s national soccer team from 1988 to 2004.
She is perhaps best known for taking off her jersey and falling to her knees in her sports bra on July 10, 1999, at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena after scoring a penalty shot that gave the United States the win over China in the final game.
O’Brien said the artist who made Chastain’s plaque has done many for the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame that were fine.
“He’s done a lot of the plaques,” O’Brien said. “We’ve never had a complaint.”
But he explained that the plaques are made from photographs of the subject, a process that doesn’t always produce a satisfying likeness even for other institutions like the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
“I think it’s very difficult to take a picture and make a perfect rendering,” O’Brien said.
The original photograph the artist was working from featured Chastain with her hair pulled back and wearing a thick coat with a high collar. But on social media, likened the rendering to football star John Elway or 1950s film icon Mickey Rooney.
O’Brien said that while he “didn’t think it was well done” when he saw Chastain’s original plaque, “it’s really up to the inductee” and that Chastain told him she “didn’t have a problem with it.” But she accepted his offer to redo the image, which O’Brien said would cost $8,000 to $10,000.
“She’ll send a different picture and we’re going to redo it,” O’Brien said, “and do it until she’s happy.”

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