Tag Archives: Baseball Painting

Painting of Vintage Chicago Cubs player wearing a uniform from the last time the Cubs played in the World Series throwing a baseball

Baseball Painting Chicago Cubs Art

Chicago Cubs, Murphy ‘s bleachers wanting and waiting  – to see their faces now.  Do you believe in miracles delivered in style? – a night of baseball you will never forget.  History in Cleveland Ohio. Not World Series Champions since 1908. They got together and rallied in a rain-delayed  game full
of heart attack moments. Bringing the title back to Chicago.  It did happen coming back from being down 3 to 1 in the series.  Loud crowd – high emotions. The Cubs don’t need a plane to fly home.

About the Chicago Cubs Baseball PaintingPainting of Vintage Chicago Cubs player wearing a uniform from the last time the Cubs played in the World Series throwing a baseball

The baseball painting you see in the post is of Vintage Chicago Cubs player wearing a uniform from the last time the Cubs played in the World Series. 4 ft by 8 ft. Acrylic on unstretched canvas

Some Tweets I liked during World Series Game

World Series Game 7: Will the Chicago Cubs or Indians break their curse?   1908. 1948. A drought will end If you’re not watching baseball tonight …. something is wrong with you!! Just feels like this is going to be an epic ending.  Nobody has a good reason to not watch this game!!!  Things to remember: The pitcher throws the ball to the catcher. The catcher is the one without the bat.

I have not yet decided whether I will accept the result of tonight’s game. I want to keep you in suspense.

@DexterFowler launches the first leadoff homer in a winner-take-all

Tremendous sportsmanship being shown tonight. Really refreshing with all of the craziness going on in this world.

Not even a baseball fan, but @Cubs vs @Indians Game 7 is the stuff of HISTORY! Eyes glued to the TV!!!

The announcer described Anthony Rizzo as “the most polite man in major league baseball” this is utterly delightful

@RaeBeta I don’t believe politeness is an official statistic.

@RaeBeta Baseball is lots more fun the players are humanized as characters.

THIS is why baseball can be great!

Can I just say: Regardless of the result of the play, I love Lindor helping Rizzo up after the hard slide. @c_albertdeitch and the “nice play” tap, after the play on top of it @c_albertdeitch yeah the play was clean too

Kluber Clobbered.

(This is the kind of stunning Internet content only twitter writers can provide.)

Baseball painting of Andre Ethier, outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers as he is sliding into home plate while the catcher protects the plate and tries to tag Ethier out

Andre Ethier Outfielder LA Dodgers Painting

LA Dodgers Andre Ethier Still Out

As we all know Andre Ethier  the MLB left-handed outfielder is still out with his broken leg mending.   He has  played his whole major league baseball with the Dodgers.  He did start in the Oakland farm system but he’s never did play in the Major League with Oakland and started with the Dodgers in 2006.  Andre does have an interesting ritual before every game—ever since he was in the minors—he eats a peanut butter and honey sandwich on wheat bread and two Baseball painting of Andre Ethier, outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers as he is sliding into home plate while the catcher protects the plate and tries to tag Ethier outspoonfuls of tuna.  One of the interesting things Ethier has said about himself is, “I wasn’t an all-American, and I wasn’t drafted until the second round. I wasn’t that guy everybody said to watch out for the next couple of years because I was going to make a big impact. I guess that lights a little fire under you and makes you want to show what you can do.”

Value of Playing for one Team

There is something valuable in a player that has only played for one team. They seem more real, not a rent-a-player, moving from one team to another.  They care more about their own team.  In his eight years with the Dodgers he has seen the good, the bad and the ugly – the success in October and the failures that can start in the July’s – and the seasons with the injuries.  He’s a he’s a 2-time All-Star with a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove in his history.

Captain Cluch

Because he has been able to perform under pressure he was given the nickname “Cap’n Clutch”.  In one season he had six walk-off hits which included four walk-off home runs that tied the Major League record for most in a season.  When asked about it in a Sporting News interview he said, “It’s one of those funny things. People understand that I’m pretty intense when I go up there, pretty focused and locked in; I can have that tight, white knuckled- grip look to me. I wasn’t that good in those situations early in my career; I was awful in those big, game-changing at-bats. I think I established that you can learn to become good at that but it takes a certain easiness and calmness to do it. There’s nothing better than having a feeling going up there: I want to be in that situation; I can’t wait to get that at-bat. Then you hit the ball and you look as you run around the bases—you just ended a game like that with one swing. It’s a great feeling. You’ve got to want to be in that situation because a lot of times you’re going to fail. But it’s what you look for. If anything, I’ve shown that I’m able to handle that situation and come through.”  A couple of his accomplishments:  He broke the Dodger record for most consecutive at-bats with a hit. He’s the only Dodger to have more than 30 doubles in six consecutive seasons.

What others Say About  Andre Ethier

As Don Mattingly, manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers said, “It’s like you’d rather have Andre up with the game on the line in the ninth…”   Mattingly continued, “That’s kind of the thinking there. You save for the biggest at-bat in the ninth.”  This gives the Los Angeles Dodger fans those great “Captain Clutch” late-inning heroics.

There has been some question about Ethier batting against left-handers.  In a GQ article Andre addressed a the question asked by Nathaniel Penn :  “Against right-handed pitchers, your numbers are spectacular. Against left-handed pitchers, you’ve struggled throughout your career. That spring your manager, Don Mattingly, had to defend you and affirm that he’s not going to platoon you this season—i.e., bench you when the Dodgers are facing a left-handed starting pitcher. At this point in your career, how do you go about improving your ability to hit lefties?

[This area] is one where I think more than anything this spring we—I mean me and [Dodgers hitting coach]  at the time, Mark McGwire—have been working really hard. Nothing mechanical, just more the mental side: visualizing and making ourselves better and really figuring out a way to just be confident in all situations.

Sometimes as a baseball player or just an athlete in general you stick to the things you do well and you keep practicing those things. Those areas where you have issues you try to fix ’em but at the same time you try to limit your exposure to those. But in baseball you gotta go up there and face everyone in every situation. I think it’s a thing where now lefties are coming out of the bullpen earlier in the game to face left-handed hitters. There’s maybe two lefties in the bullpen that are there every day just to try to get you out when those big at-bats are coming. You gotta learn those guys; it’s just how the game’s really been evolving.”

Although he has not played this season he does have a good perspective on his future play.  Andre said,  When I get back … “I just want to take advantage of every day that I’m in the lineup.”

image of baseball slide rule a base runner being tagged out by the shortstop as he leaps into the air to catch the ball

New Baseball slide rule

Baseball Slide Rule

Under the new baseball slide rule into second, “both baseball players have to wear a dress.”  At least, that is what one of the Major League baseball managers was quoted as saying.  His point being that the MLB was taking all of the “sport” out baseball.

image of baseball slide rule a base runner being tagged out by the shortstop as he leaps into the air to catch the ball

Sports Art Baseball Painting by artist John Robertson is 11″ x 14″, ink and acrylic on drafting film. Available.

If the baseball player can’t go into second base with “spikes up and wide” in an attempt to break up the double play, then where is the excitement and risk of the game?  One of the new rules state: “A runner sliding into second has to make “a bona fide attempt” not just to slide into the base, but also to “remain on the base.”   In other words,  “no interference”.  In the case of this baseball painting the base runner is trying to interfere with the shortstop.

Keep Baseball Entertaining

It seems to me, part of the reason to slide into second base, during the possibility of a double play, is to interfere with the play.   Another way to break up the double play is to run the base path so the baseman can’t throw straight to first base.  So, instead of taking out the danger of the play, with the baseball slide rule they should put a rule in to make it a greater risk for the base runner to run the bases.  And that would be, the base runner has to run the bases in a straight line between the bases.  But, with the new rule, the  baseman may throw the ball at the base runner, and the base runner is not allowed to duck.  That kind of evens out the whole “fairness” of a need for a slide rule.  Let’s make sure both basemen and base runners are, “at risk”  and keep the game as entertaining as ever.  Maybe, even more entertaining.

If the League thinks it is protecting baseball players, it is eliminating not the most dangerous aspects of the game.  The most dangerous?  – getting hit by a pitch.  The next change is coming:  protect the batter by putting him into a batting cage.

Baseball art painting of catcher Ramon Hernandez swuatting behind home plate with his catcher's hand extended out to catch the baseball

Baseball Art Catcher Ramon Hernandez

Baseball ArtBaseball art painting of catcher Ramon Hernandez swuatting behind home plate with his catcher's hand extended out to catch the baseball

Baseball art painting of Ramon Hernandez is 50″ x 70″ acrylic on unstretched canvas

As someone once said, “A catcher is a backstop with a good art.”  And Ramon Hernandez was a great catcher with a good arm and got in front of everything.   (and can play first base)   He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Oakland Athletics (1999–2003), San Diego Padres (2004–2005), Baltimore Orioles (2006–2008), Cincinnati Reds (2009–2011), Colorado Rockies (2012) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2013).

Playing Catcher

He has an interesting position to play catchers are the defensive leader on the field. They call the pitches and can position players on the field and have a pragmatic view of baseball. The great pitcher Bob Feller said, “If you believe your catcher is intelligent and you know that he has considerable experience, it is a good thing to leave the game almost entirely in his hands.”

A good catcher will have psychological insight and have a list of behaviors for each player approaching the batting box. His eyes are continuing to move across the field of play and his mind running the different offensive scenarios in his head. All of this going on with a baseball bat menacingly inches from his head.

Catcher Bill Dickey

Bill Dickey  a baseball catcher and manage of the Yankees once said about being a catcher,  “.A catcher must want to catch. He must make up his mind that it isn’t the terrible job it is painted, and that he isn’t going to say every day, ‘Why, oh why with so many other positions in baseball did I take up this one.”   He played catcher in the Major League for the New York Yankees for 19 seasons. Dickey managed the Yankees after retiring from his playing career.

Catcher in the Rye

And, of course we must have a quote from the most that famous catcher who hangs out in the Rye, ” Holden Caulfield, ” “Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around – nobody big, I mean – except me. And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff – I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.”

― Quote from, J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye.

Baseball Paintings Jim Bouton Knuckleball Atalanta Braves

Sports artist John Robertson'sBaseball Paintings. Jim Bouton is 5 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Baseball paintings. Jim Bouton pitcher for Atlanta Braved by Sports artist John Robertson is 5 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Baseball painting of Jim Bouton was a pitcher in the major leagues for a number of years playing for the New York Yankees, Seattle Pilots, Houston Astros and ended his career with the Atlanta Braves.  The longer he played in the Major Leagues he was able to extend his playing days developing the knuckleball.  As you see in the painting he is demonstrating how the knuckleball is held in the hand for throwing a pitch.

Jim Bouton who became a really good knucklball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves  wrote the classic baseball book, BALL FOUR.  The painting is  5 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

One of things he is best known for is his memoir of his playing years with the New York Yankees, Seattle Pilots and the Houston Astros.  He had played in the 1962 World Series and was in the 1963 MLB All-Star game.

In Jim Bouton’s book “Ball Four” broke baseball’s code of silence where the athletes did not speak about what went on in the background of baseball.  The book is a memoir that described the petty jealousies on the team, as well as camaraderie, raucous tomcatting, game-winning heroics, routine drug use and the pain professional athletes endure.  One of Bouton’s important line in the book: “You spend your life gripping a baseball,” Jim Bouton wrote, “and it turns out that it was the other way around all along.”

Here is one of the the interesting stories from the book “Ball Four”

“I think the big deal was, I said Mickey Mantle had a home run with a hangover. And, you know, it was more of a story about what a great hitter he was, what a great player he was.

“We have been out the night before, having a few drinks, and Mickey came to the clubhouse the next day, and he was a little hung over. So, you know, Ralph Houk said, ‘Don’t worry about it. Sleep it off in the trainer’s room. We’ll put somebody else in center field.’ Anyway, the game goes extra innings. We need a pinch-hitter in the 10th. Somebody went to wake up the Mick. He comes out, put a bat in his hands. He walks up to home plate, takes one practice swing and hits the first pitch into the left field bleachers, a tremendous blast.

“Guys are going nuts. He comes over, crosses home plate. Actually, he missed home plate. We have to send him back for that. He comes over to the dugout, and he looks up in the stands, and he says, those people don’t know how tough that really was. Then after the game, the sportswriter said, ‘Mick, how did you that?’ … And he said, ‘Well, it was very simple. I hit the middle ball.’ ”

 

Baseball painting Pitcher Sandy Koufax LA Dodgers Sports Art

Sandy Koufax “the Left Arm of God”

Painting image of Los Angeles Dodgers Sandy Koufax on the pitcher's mound showing his great follow through after he has thrown the pitch.

A client had seen an earlier version of this Sandy Koufax painting that is on this blog and wanted one for his father. This one is painted with acrylic inks on drafting film. The other Sandy Koufax painting was painted in oil. The overall size is 11″ x 14″

Sandy Koufax is considered one of the greatest pitchers ever to play the game.  His nickname was “The Left Arm of God”  He played his entire career with the Brooklyn and LA Dodgers retiring in 1966  because of arthritis in his left elbow at age 30.

One of the things Sandy Koufax is remembered for was his decision not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur.  It was a conflict between professional pressures and personal beliefs.  Koufax was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1972 – the youngest ever inducted at the time at 36 years old.

Story about Sandy Koufax

Here is one of the great stories about Koufax that I found on Wired “Cruel Curveball Science; Nasty Koufax” BY DAVID DOBBS

“Koufax had to face the terrifying Mickey Mantle. The book on Mantle, Leavy explains, was never ever ever EVER throw him the curve. For he was so strong in his upper body and arms that even if you fooled him badly and got him to commit his hips too early, he could still crush the ball as long as his hands were still back. So don’t throw him the hook. Just don’t. And if you can throw 100 mph, like Koufax could, why throw the curve?

Because you’re Koufax.

So in the first game in which they meet — Game 1 of the 1963 World Series, Dodgers v Yankees — Koufax faces Mantle three times. On the first at-bat he strikes out Mantle throwing nothing but fastballs.

Mantle’s second time up, Koufax gets two strikes on him. Everyone in the park is thinking heat. But Koufax shakes off the fastball sign once, twice. Catcher catches on, puts down two fingers to call for the curve. And Koufax’s curve was a horrid thing to a batter, possibly the best curveball ever, a nose-to-toes diver that just killed batters, flummoxed them utterly, destroyed their minds.  Yet still, he’d been told NOT to throw this thing to Mantle. So he decdies he’s going to. And he does.

Ball comes in eye-high, just buzzing … and just before reaching the plate it dives, crossing the plate at Mantle’s knees. Mantle flinches, just the tiniest bit,  but never moves the bat. Ump calls strike three. Mantle stands there an extra beat, then turns to the catcher and says, “How the fuck is anybody supposed to hit that shit?” And walks back to the dugout.”

Most of the paintings shown on the blog have been sold.  (They sell fast)  But there are a few available.  If you click on the link for Paintings for Sale you can see what is available.  What I suggest is that you contact me for your specific need and I can easily paint something specific for you.  Just clink on the contact page for information.

Painting of San Francisco Giants Willie Mays swinging a baseball bat and the catcher squatting behind him with the text The Say Hey Kid st the top.

Baseball paintings Willie Mays “The Say Hey Kid” art

Willie Mays Painting

This is about the sixth time I have painted a large scale painting of the great center fielder, Willie Mays, nicknamed The Say Hey Kid”  who played for the old New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants.  He finished his baseball career with the NY Mets. Painting of San Francisco Giants Willie Mays swinging a baseball bat and the catcher squatting behind him with the text The Say Hey Kid st the top. The first I painted Willie was for Fox Sports, a number of years ago.  Willie Mays was interviewed by Derek Jeter and  Ken Griffey Jr. during the 2007 Major League Baseball All Star Game for Fox Sports. If you watch the Willie Mays video on YouTube  or see it below,  you will see three large-scale paintings behind the three great baseball players  in the interview  The two portraits in the
interview are 5 feet by 6 feet and the famous Willie Mays “Catch”  was approximately 3 1/2 feet by 8 feet.   Like the paintings you see above, they were all painted with acrylic and on unstretched canvas.

Willie Mays interview All Star Game

Wille Mays Famous Catch

The famous catch Willie Mays made refers to a great catch he made during game 1 of the 1954 World Series between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians at the Polo
Grounds in New York.  It was September 29, 1954.  score was tied 2–2 in the top of the 8th
inning. Vic Wertz was at bat.  The count  to two balls and one strike,  Wertz hits
a ball approximately 420 feet to deep center field. Willie Mays, who was
playing in shallow center field, made an on-the-run, over-the-shoulder catch on
the warning track to make the out. Having caught the ball, he immediately spun
and threw the ball to hold a runner, who was at second, from scoring.  If Willie had not made “The Catch”  the two base runners would have been able to score and the game would have been at 4 to 2 in favor of the Indians.  The play saved the game and the  New York Giants went on to win the game and eventually the World Series in four straight games.
Willie said of the catch, “People talk about that catch and, I’ve said this many times, that I’ve made better catches than that many times in regular season. But of course in my time, you didn’t have a lot of television during the regular season. A lot of people didn’t see me do a lot of
things.”

Some of the more interesting facts about Willie is Mays is that he won two MVP awards and shares the record of most All-Star Games played (24) with Hank Aaron & Stan Musial.   Ted Williams said, “They invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays.” Mays ended his career with 660 home runs, third at the time of his retirement, and currently fourth all-time. He was a center fielder and won a record-tying 2 Gold Gloves starting the year the award was introduced six seasons into his career.  In 1979 Willie Mays was inducted into MLB Hall of Fame on the first vote

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Honus Wagner, a dead-ball era baseball player’s hands painting

Painting of MLB Baseball player Honus Wagner Shortstop Pittsburgh Pirates is approximately 54” by 68” acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Painting of MLB Baseball player Honus Wagner Shortstop Pittsburgh Pirates is approximately 54” by 68” acrylic on unstretched canvas.  John Robertson Sports Paintings for sale

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Honus Wagner, a dead-ball era baseball player who is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time.  Most people know him as having the most valuable baseball card.  The reason it is so valuable is because it was recalled in 1909 and all were destroyed except for a few that got into circulation.

Honus Wagner was an eight time National League batting champion, with a lifetime batting average of .328. He also led the league five times in stolen bases, five times in RBIs, eight times in doubles and three times in triples. He played nearly 2,800 games during his career, with 3,430 hits, 651 doubles, 252 triples and 722 stolen bases. Along with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson.  If you want all his stats here is the link to MLB site on Honus Wagner

Honus Wagner’s Hall of Fame Induction Speech June 12, 1939.  Cooperstown, NY.    “Ladies and gentlemen, I was born 1874, and this organization was started was 1876. When I was just a kid I said, “ I hope some day I’ll be up there playing in this league.” And by chance I did. Now Connie Mack the gentleman that preceeded me here at the mike, I remember walking fourteen miles just to see him play ball for Pittsburgh. (crowd laughs) Walking and running, or hitchhiking a ride on a buggy, them days we had no automobile. I certainly am pleased to be here in Cooperstown today, and this is just a wonderful little city, or town, or village or whaever we’d call it. It puts me in mind of Sleepy Hollow. (crowd laughs) However I want to thank you for being able to come here today.”  Honus Wagner was one of the first five inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.

close-up of a hand of Honus Wagner holding the sat

close-up of a hand of Honus Wagner holding the sat

Here is an interesting story about the baseball card from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.  The most famous T206 Honus Wagner is the “Gretzky T206 Honus Wagner” card. The card’s odd texture and shape led to speculation that it was altered. The Gretzky T206 Wagner was first sold by Alan Ray to a baseball memorabilia collector named Bill Mastro, who sold the card two years later to Jim Copeland for nearly four times the price he had originally paid. Copeland’s sizable transaction revitalized interest in the sports memorabilia collection market. In 1991, Copeland sold the card to ice hockey figures Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall for $451,000. Gretzky resold the card four years later to Wal-Mart and Treat Entertainment for $500,000, for use as the top prize in a promotional contest.

The next year, a Florida postal worker won the card and auctioned it at Christie’s for $640,000 to collector Michael Gidwitz. In 2000, the card was sold via Robert Edward Auctions to card collector Brian Seigel for $1.27 million. In February 2007, Seigel sold the card privately to an anonymous collector for $2.35 million. Less than six months later, the card was sold to another anonymous collector for $2.8 million. In April 2011, that anonymous purchaser was revealed to be Ken Kendrick, owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks.[3] These transactions have made the Wagner card the most valuable baseball card in history.  In October 2013, Bill Mastro pleaded guilty to mail fraud in U.S District Court — and admitted in the process that he had trimmed the Wagner card to sharply increase its value.

Baseball Painting, Portrait of Baseball Great Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees

Baseball sports painting, portrait of New York Yankees Hall of Fame center fielder Joe DiMaggio is 50" x 70" acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Baseball sports painting, portrait of New York Yankees Hall of Fame center fielder Joe DiMaggio is 50″ x 70″ acrylic on unstretched canvas.

As a boy and like so many others I thought Joe DiMaggio was the baseball player to follow and worship.  We did not have a major league team in Los Angeles at the time so the Yankees were the team we followed.  (What? No TV?  Nope.  Not then. This was 1948-1951) Joe was nicknamed “Joltin’ Joe” and “The Yankee Clipper” and was what we all wanted to grow up to be – American Major League Baseball center fielder for the Yankees.  Dreams.  Boyhood dreams.

Even adults thought that Joe DiMaggio was something special.  Kevin Costner, who made that great baseball movie, “Field of Dreams” said about Joe DiMaggio, “There are certain people’s names that are reminders of what men can be like. To this day, when I hear the name Joe DiMaggio, it is so much more than a man’s name. It reminds me to play whatever game I’m in with more grace and pride and dignity…He is a man who speaks to us about how to walk through life and how to receive the admiration only the famous can know…and about how to wear defeat and disappointment as if it were just a passing storm. Men like Joe DiMaggio are not just of their own time. They are men for the ages.”

I remember in 1952 collecting Topps Baseball Cards – buying packs and packs of gum to get that Topps, Joe DiMaggio 1952 card. So I gathered about one-hundred-and-seventy-five cards before discovering that he retired before the production of the 1952 cards were printed. (I still have the 1952 Topps cards I collected as a boy.  And no they are not in good condition.  Who knew then.  I glued the cards into a paper scrapbook so on the back of the cards there are these great hunks of Elmer’s Rubber Cement and bits of paper attached to the cards.)

I continued to follow the Yankees until the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles for the 1958 season and my allegiance changed.  But, to me, baseball was never the same with DiMaggio gone from the game.  I really didn’t have much thought about DiMaggio being gone or what it might have meant to me until 1967.  The was the year one of my favorite movies came out, “The Graduate”  a coming of age movie about a college graduate entwined in the process of adulthood, the loss of innocence, manhood, etc.  And in the movie soundtrack is one of the great Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel songs, “Mrs Robinson.”  The classic lines in the lyrics:

”Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

A nation turns its lonely eyes to you, wo wo wo

What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson

‘Joltin Joe’ has left and gone away, hey hey hey

Hey hey hey”

At that time I kicked and fought not to be an adult.  I had dropped out of high school – did my stint in the Navy,  tried college a number of times  and struggled to find direction.  Somehow the movie helped.  I was not alone but “Joltin Joe’ (had) left and gone away.”

Joe” DiMaggio November 25, 1914 – March 8, 1999) played his entire 13-year career for the New York Yankees. He is perhaps best known for his 56-game hitting streak (May 15 – July 16, 1941), a record that still stands.  DiMaggio was a three-time MVP winner and an All-Star in each of his 13 seasons. During his tenure with the Yankees, the club won ten American League pennants and nine World Series championships.  At the time of his retirement, he ranked fifth in career home runs (361) and sixth in career slugging percentage (.579). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955, and was voted the sport’s greatest living player in a poll taken during the baseball centennial year of 1969. — From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is what a couple of other great baseball players said of Joe DiMaggio:

(Joe) DiMaggio was the greatest all-around player I ever saw. His career cannot be summed up in numbers and awards. It might sound corny, but he had a profound and lasting impact on the country.” – Ted Williams

“Heroes are people who are all good with no bad in them. That’s the way I always saw Joe DiMaggio. He was beyond question one of the greatest players of the century.” – Mickey Mantle

Baseball painting Pittsburgh Pirates Shortstop Honus Wagner “The Flying Dutchman”

Painting of MLB Baseball player Honus Wagner Shortstop Pittsburgh Pirates is approximately 54” by 68” acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Painting of MLB Baseball player Honus Wagner Shortstop Pittsburgh Pirates is approximately 54” by 68” acrylic on unstretched canvas.

The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Honus Wagner, a dead-ball era baseball player who is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time. One of the Hall of Fame’s five original inductees in 1936, Honus Wagner combined rare offensive and defensive excellence throughout a 21-year career from 1897 to 1917.

Honus Wagner’s Hall of Fame Induction Speech June 12, 1939.  Cooperstown, NY.  “Ladies and gentlemen, I was born 1874, and this organization was started was 1876. When I was just a kid I said, “ I hope some day I’ll be up there playing in this league.” And by chance I did. Now Connie Mack the gentleman that preceeded me here at the mike, I remember walking fourteen miles just to see him play ball for Pittsburgh. (crowd laughs) Walking and running, or hitchhiking a ride on a buggy, them days we had no automobile. I certainly am pleased to be here in Cooperstown today, and this is just a wonderful little city, or town, or village or whaever we’d call it. It puts me in mind of Sleepy Hollow. (crowd laughs) However I want to thank you for being able to come here today.”

Painting of MLB Baseball player Honus Wagner Shortstop Pittsburgh Pirates is approximately 54” by 68” acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Painting of MLB Baseball player Honus Wagner Shortstop Pittsburgh Pirates is approximately 54” by 68” acrylic on unstretched canvas.

One of my favorite stories about Honus Wagner was told by Burleigh Grimes in The Quotable Baseball Fanatic (2004)  “One day he was batting against a young pitcher who had just come into the league. The catcher was a kid, too. A rookie battery. The pitcher threw Honus a curveball, and he swung at it and missed and fell down on one knee. Looked helpless as a robin. I was kind of surprised, but the guy sitting next to me on the bench poked me in the ribs and said, ‘Watch this next one.’ Those kids figured they had the old man’s weaknesses, you see, and served him up the same dish-as he knew they would. Well, Honus hit a line drive so hard the fence in left field went back and forth for five minutes.”

Honus played shortstop and won eight batting titles, tied for the most in National League history,  led the league in slugging six times.  He said, “I don’t make speeches. I let my bat speak for me in the summertime.” He led in stolen bases five times. Wagner was nicknamed “The Flying Dutchman” because he could run the bases so fast – and that he was German.

Most people know that the Honus Wagner baseball card is one of the most valuable sports card around. The reason it is so valuable is because it was recalled in 1909 and all were destroyed except for a few that got into circulation. At the time, the cards were distributed along with tobacco.   Wagner didn’t smoke and he didn’t like to being included in the tobacco promotion because he did not want to set a bad example for children.

Baseball painting New York Yankees “The Babe” Babe Ruth

“The Babe “ Babe Ruth painting. 12” x 16” canvas on board. Ink and acrylic. The background is newsprint (from old Sporting News, newspaper about baseball) attached to the canvas board. The paper is then distressed to give it a old and beat-up, used look. The painting will fit into a standard 12” x 16” frame.

“The Babe “ Babe Ruth painting. 12” x 16” canvas on board. Ink and acrylic. The background is newsprint (from old Sporting News, newspaper about baseball) attached to the canvas board. The paper is then distressed to give it a old and beat-up, used look.

I think “The Babe” was one of the first of the truly national baseball celebrities who was a great crowd pleaser.  Branch Rickey (ex-Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers) said of Babe, Ruth,  “He has created an expectation of hero worship on the part of the youth of this country, and it was a most fortunate thing that Ruth kept faith with the boyhood of America because they loved him.”  I am sure there are comparisons to some of the current baseball players – but so many of today’s athletes seem to have a team of publicists promoting them.  And they may not have anywhere near the character “The Babe” had.  He said, “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

Here is Babe Ruth’s “The King of Swat” Hall of Fame speech of June 12, 1939

“Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I hope some day that some of the young fellows coming into the game will know how it feels to be picked in the Hall of Fame. I know the old boys back in there were just talking it over, some have been here long before my time. They got on it, I worked hard, and I got on it. And I hope that the coming generation, the young boys today, that they’ll work hard and also be on it.

And as my old friend Cy Young says, “I hope it goes another hundred years and the next hundred years will be the greatest. You know to me this is just like an anniversary myself, because twenty-five years ago yesterday I pitched my first baseball game in Boston, for the Boston Red Sox. (applause)

So it seems like an anniversary for me too, and I’m surely glad and it’s a pleasure for me to come up here and be picked also in the Hall of Fame. Thank you.”

 

Baseball Painting of Curt Schilling Pitcher for Boston Red Sox

Curt Schilling Boston Red Sox Baseball painting

The painting of Curt Schilling Pitcher for the Boston Red Sox is 50” x 70” acrylic on unstretched canvas.”

The great pitcher Curt Schilling who finished his Major League Baseball career at the Boston Red Sox was aright-handed pitcher who helped lead the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series in 1993 and won World Series championships in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and in 2004 and 2007 with the Boston Red Sox. Schilling retired with a career postseason record of 11–2. His .846 postseason winning percentage is a major-league record among pitchers with at least 10 decisions.

As a great pitcher the question always arises on how one becomes great.  He said, “In my mind, I never doubted whether I was going to achieve what I wanted to do. I just had to decide what it is I wanted to do.”   Those words are true for most of us as I know I have spent a good deal of time trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life.  After working for twenty years I finally committed myself to painting.  Just making that decision changed my life for the best.  And then Curt says more about success, “I think I’ve earned a certain level of respect, based on my accomplishments and my consistency.”   And that comes with long, hard work.  And in that work one runs into problems.  As Curt says,  “I’ve made mistakes, … I am sure I will again sometime, but that happens, that’s part of being human…”

With all of that being said – In the current news Curt announced he had been diagnosed with squamous cell  carcinoma — cancer in the mouth. Schilling blames his use of chewing tobacco as a player.

According to Steve Silva of the Boston Globe, Curt Schilling said, “I did (chewing tobacco) for about 30 years. It was an addictive habit. I can think of so many times in my life when it was so relaxing to just sit back and have a dip and do whatever, and I lost my sense of smell, my taste buds for the most part. I had gum issues, they bled, all this other stuff. None of it was enough to ever make me quit. The pain that I was in going through this treatment, the second or third day it was the only thing in my life that had that I wish I could go back and never have dipped. Not once. It was so painful.”

The Spitter Baseball Pitch Painting

“The Spitter” spitball sports art painting by artist John Robertson is 50″ x 70″ acrylic on unstretched canvas.

A spitball is an illegal pitch in which the ball has been altered by the application of saliva, petroleum jelly, or some other foreign substance. The pitch causes the ball to move atypically due to the altered wind-resistance and weight on one side of the ball. Alternative names for the spitball are spitter, mud ball, shine ball and emery ball, although technically, an emery ball is one where the ball has been abraded in much the same way that the original cut ball had been physically cut. The altering of the ball’s state by the use of artificial substances such as sun block, dirt or degradation by fingernails or other hard substances is illegal tampering.

(information came from Wikipedia)

Stan Musial St. Louis Cardinals

"Stan The Man" Musial

“Stan The Man” Musial

 Painting of  St. Louis Cardinals Stan Musial.  He is widely considered to be one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. He compiled 3,630 career hits, ranking fourth all-time and first in a career spent with only one team. With 1,815 hits at home and 1,815 on the road, he also is considered to be the most consistent hitter of his era. As I am a LA Dodger fan (living in Southern California) I find thisquote qjite amusing from Musial, “When we played the Dodgers in St. Louis, they had to come through our dugout, and our bat rack was right there where they had to walk. My bats kept disappearing, and I couldn’t figure it out. Turns out, Pee Wee Reese was stealing my bats. I found that out later, after we got out of baseball. He and Rube Walker stole my bats.”

“Stan the Man Musial” painting is approximately 53″ x 68″ acrylic on unstretched canvas

Jim Thome designated Hitter Philadelphia Phillies

Jim Thome

Jim Thome

Art Baseball painting Jim Thome designated Hitter Philadelphia Phillies.  Played until the 2012 season,  The 41-year-old slugger was a solid bat off the bench. As I am an older guy it was good to see an old guy still swinging the bat. There is always so much talk about steroids among the baseball hitters so it was refreshing to hear what Thome had to say about it,  “The strongest thing I put into my body is steak and eggs. I just eat. I’m not a supplement guy. Steroids are not even a thought.”

The baseball image of Thome is about 8″ x 10″ on a 11″ x 14″ drafting film. Ink, watercolor and acrylic.

Philip Humber Pitcher Chicago White Sox Throws No-Hitter

Phil Humber Chicago white Soxs

Phil Humber Chicago White Soxs

This is a small sports baseball painting of Philip Humber who threw a no-hitter  The no-hitter was thrown against the Seattle Mariners on April 21, 2012. Humber recorded a perfect game.
There have been 251 official major league no-hitters, including two in the postseason.

Here are a couple of quotes he said about the no-hitter at the time.  “I had never seen a perfect game or no-hitter thrown.” ‘It’s nice to pitch to hitters and have defense behind you. My arm has been 100% for a month or a month and a half.”

The baseball art is a 14” x 17” oil painting on drafting film. The actual baseball player image on the drafting film is about 10” x 14”. What is can of amusing about this painting is that I mispelled Chicago on the jersey.  I thought about changing it but liked the way it came out.

New York Yankees Baseball Player batter painting

New York Yankees batter

New York Yankees batter

The sports painting is that of baseball’s New York Yankee batter swinging  at the pitch.  The painting is ink and acrylic on New York maps and a map of the New York subway.   The painting is ink and acrylic on New York maps and a map of the New York subway  system.  There is also a map of the United States.  The baseball player painting is 50″ x 70″ on unstretched canvas.

Baseball Art Painting of Pittsburgh Pirates Dave Parker

Baseball painting of Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Dave Parker(The Cobra) throwing a baseball painted by sports artist John Robertson. He was the 1979 National League MVP and two-time batting champion.  Parker was the first professional athlete to earn an average of one million dollars per year.  One of his great quotes is, “When the leaves turn brown, I’ll be wearing the batting crown” – Dave Parker in mid-season 1978.

Old New York Giants baseball player Frank Frisch

Old vintage baseball image painted by sports artist John Robertson.  The picture is of Frank Frisch, second baseman for the old New York Giants.  He played during the thirties  In his days he was considered the best second baseman.  I saw an old photograph of Frisch in a baseball book and thought it might be interesting to paint.  The painting is 24” x 36”  oil on stretched canvas.  The photograph does not show the amount of blue that is in the painting.

Baseball art image of catcher

Baseball, painting art Catcher and Base runner painting by sports artist John Robertson.  Baseball art player image is approximately 8″ by 10″ on a oil on a 11′ x 14″ piece of drafting film.
Sports art painting by John Robertson of a baseball player trying to score – which he does by the fact the catcher gets a high throw.

David Wright Third baseman for the NY Met Baseball paintings

Image Sports Painting of David Wright Third baseman for the NY Mets.  Approximately 8″ x 10″ image on 11″ x 14″ drafting film.
David Wright, gold glove third baseman, captain, all-time hits and RBI leader for the New York Mets is one of the biggest stars playing in one of the biggest cities in the world. Signed through the decade and a shoe-in for the hall of fame, he’s likely to be a fan favorite for generations of fans.: 

Baseball Image Sports painting of LA Dodgers right fielder

Baseball Art Painting is of Los Angeles Dodgers rightfielder Andre Ethier fielding a hit. The image is black acrylic on a 30” x 40” gallery wrapped canvas with maps of Los Angeles applied to the surface of the canvas.  Sports art painting is by John Robertson

Sports Image Baseball painting LA Dodgers second baseman

The reference material for this Baseball Art Painting is of Los Angeles Dodgers Second Baseman Mark Ellis.  Image is black acrylic on a 30” x 40” gallery wrapped canvas with maps of Los Angeles applied to the surface of the canvas.  Sports art painting is by John Robertson