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Wondrous Welder Creates Ball-Glove Benchmark for Outdoor Art

A battery of helpers maneuvers the heavy handiwork into place.
A battery of helpers maneuvers the heavy handiwork into place.
Michael K. Patterson (left) with student assistant Jacob D. Poppel, of Burlington, Connecticut, a welding and fabrication engineering technology major.
Michael K. Patterson (left) with student assistant Jacob D. Poppel, of Burlington, Connecticut, a welding and fabrication engineering technology major.
A leathery look and Patterson's eye for detail lend realism to a larger-than-life enterprise.
A leathery look and Patterson’s eye for detail lend realism to a larger-than-life enterprise.
Installed in timely fashion during the Little League Baseball World Series, the bench offers a picturesque perch.
Installed in timely fashion during the Little League Baseball World Series, the bench offers a picturesque perch.

A member of Penn College’s welding faculty, whose procession of “Student Bodies” continues to spark on-campus conversation, this week added another impressive page to his portfolio of community contributions. Michael K. Patterson worked all summer on a bench for Susquehanna Health, an oversized replica of a baseball glove he used in Little League (and has retained to this day). The welded bench weighs more than 600 pounds and swivels 360 degrees on a shaft and apparatus designed and produced by students in the college’s machining lab. It was installed Tuesday afternoon at the front entrance to the Hospitality Inn at Williamsport Regional Medical Center, which provides free accommodations to eligible patients’ families. The renovated/expanded facility, at 802 Campbell St., will be formally dedicated in mid-September. The glove accentuates the baseball theme inside and furthers the ties among Penn College, Little League and the health system. An anonymous donor provided funding for the materials and for the balance of Patterson’s time that he didn’t donate to the project. Although the bulk of the work occurred after spring classes ended, the faculty member had some assistance from students. Patterson’s civic presence also includes a sculpture on the South Williamsport side of the Susquehanna River Walk, near Maynard Street, and public artwork at West Fourth and Market streets.

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