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Amrany made the sculptures even more realistic by showing what he called “a repetitive swing” with Howard and Gibson - meaning that a bronze line seems to follow the path of the ball. The same innovative technique was used with Johnson's pitch.

“In anything like this, questions arise as how to handle the sculptures, how to show [the player's] human side,” Amrany said. “You want to push the envelope as much as you can but not push it so much that conservative fans are turned off.”

Surrounded by admirers after the 45-minute unveiling ceremony, Middleburg, Va., resident Howard expressed his pleasure at being back in the District, “where I spent my most enjoyable days.”

And now that's he's at Nationals Park permanently in bronze, how about in the flesh? Howard, 72, retired during the winter after working 12 years for the Yankees in various capacities.

“I don't know,” Howard said. “I've talked with [Nationals president] Stan Kasten about a job, but I don't know if there's anything there. If it happens, fine. If it doesn't happen, fine.”

Meanwhile, big Frank, Walter and Josh will be looking down benevolently on fans who enter Nationals Park through the main gate this season and forevermore. Certainly nobody on the field will equal this titanic trio.