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Many Pittsburghers Wonder About Baseball Mural's Mysterious Disappearance

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- People who pass by have been wondering what happened to it. A popular mural featuring Pittsburgh Pirates' legends has disappeared.

The mural debuted in April 2000. It's 40-feet-by-13-feet and normally sits in a frame under the Boulevard of the Allies at Ross Street and Second Avenue.

Some now call it the "Legends of Pittsburgh" mural. It features famous Pirates from Honus Wagner to Willie Stargell, as well as Josh Gibson from the Homestead Grays.

But recently, "Our baseball picture is gone!" said Storm Walton, of Oakmont, who passes by the mural every day. "Where are our players?"

Lauren Hamilton, of Mount Lebanon, also noticed that the mural is missing and wondered if a movie was being filmed.

But Romel Nicholas, a lawyer who works Downtown and who came up with the idea for the mural, says there's a simple explanation.

PennDOT is doing work on the bridge above and asked Lamar Advertising to take the mural down for safekeeping.

"We get plenty of calls whenever it comes down for maintenance reasons," said Nicholas.

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The mural was replaced in 2012 after a car ran into it.

Nicholas says the mural has become a bit of a local landmark. He says many groups were involved in making it a reality back in 2000, perhaps most notably artist Michael Malle.

And as for the current disappearance: "It's in storage until the maintenance is done, and it'll be back ready for baseball season, we hope."

Actually, it may not go back up until August. But as Nicholas points out with a chuckle: "That's still baseball season."

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