Danville company's Barry Bonds plaque a hit on ESPN

Danville company's Barry Bonds plaque a hit on ESPN

DANVILLE — Trigard signs and plaques can be found all over the country, but one of the Danville company's creations recently garnered national attention on ESPN.

After the San Francisco Giants retired former star Barry Bonds' No. 25 jersey on Aug. 11, ESPN aired a segment about the case for Bonds being included in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. — a controversial subject due to allegations of steroid use during his career.

Throughout the segment are shots of a "would-be replica" of a Hall of Fame induction plaque with Bonds' picture and career summary that was made at Hall of Fame Plaques and Signs' plant at 1125 N. Kimball St., Danville.

The company is a division of Trigard.

Ethan Darby, a member of the family that owns the company, said he got a call in the last week of July from ESPN producer Barry Abrams asking them to make a replica Hall of Fame plaque for Bonds.

"We have a quick turnaround time," Darby said, explaining that Abrams wanted the replica in two days, a crunch even for his company, which uses a high-tech, direct-to-metal machining technology to create their products.

But the company pulled it off with enough time to get the plaque to Connecticut for taping of the segment.

One of Trigard's competitors, who has been in the industry for decades, makes the actual plaques for the baseball Hall of Fame using a much longer process that starts with a ball of clay, Darby said, and continues with hand sculpting.

Although his company's plaque won't be in the Hall of Fame if Bonds is inducted some day, Darby said it was still great to see their work featured throughout the ESPN segment. He said he's not sure if Bonds is keeping it.

"It was still a really cool thing to do," said Darby, whose company's products are no stranger to the sports world. Hall of Fame Plaques and Signs makes the plaques for the NASCAR Hall of Fame and does work for the PGA, the winner's circle at Chicagoland Speedway and more.

And the Darbys hope the exposure from the Bonds' story might lead to more business.

"It's a proud moment when you see something your team created being shared with thousands of people across the country," said Rich Darby, owner of Hall of Fame Plaques and Signs. "We are hoping this opens some more doors for us in the sports world."

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