by Justina Quagliata
She doesn’t look a day over 20, yet the original is over 100 and the one at JELD-WEN Field is over 41. The Jantzen Lady is not only an international symbol for Jantzen products, but for many Portlanders, a token from the Portland Beaver days at Civic Stadium.
The Jantzen Lady was built for Civic Stadium and the Portland Beavers – Portland’s minor league baseball team - and debuted over the left field wall in 1971. Made of fiberglass and measuring over 21 feet long, she oversaw hundreds of Portland Beavers, Mavericks, and Rockies baseball games as well as concerts, football games and soccer matches in her signature spot. In the 2001 stadium remodel, she was moved to the main concourse, and she is now found hanging over the entrance to the Sunset Porsche Audi Suites.
While a part of Civic Stadium, the Jantzen lady was considered a part of the field and in play for baseball games, being hit multiple times over the years. If a ball bounced off her and into the stands, it was considered a double. If the ball landed on her back or became wedged between her and the wall, the umpire decided how many bases the hitter could advance.
She is based off of Jantzen’s “Red Diving Girl,” a marketing promotion that appeared in their catalog in 1920. “Red Diving Girl” was designed In the 1910s by artists Florenz and Frank Clark, who began by sketching divers training at Multnomah Athletic Club—which was and still is located adjacent to present day JELD-WEN Field.
After learning of a boy who covered his father’s car in images from a later catalog, Jantzen produced cutouts of their “Red Diving Girl,” windshield decals and later, hood ornaments, earning her the nickname “The Most Widely Traveled Lady in America.” The image became synonymous with the Jantzen brand and was adopted as their official logo. Jantzen continues to use her as a main focus of their logo, crossing the “A” in “Jantzen” today.
Jantzen turned 100 in 2010 and borrowed the Portland Jantzen Lady for a gallery exhibit at The Art Institute of Portland called Jantzen, 100 Years of Timeless Glamour.
The Jantzen Lady of Civic Stadium and JELD-WEN Field fame still has three sisters of her original five. One still tours department stores nationwide as a display, another is in storage in Vancouver, and the last splashes over the Stamie’s Smart Beachwear in Daytona Beach, Fl.