I have just taken a new part-time job, which is a very good thing. I will still have time to read and draw and obsess over baseball cards and hair metal, but will be doing so to a lesser extent because of my new position. So the posts may be a little less frequent here.
I do have some book reviews on the horizon, The Making of Major League, 27, Tony Oliva, and The League of Regrettable Superheroes among them. And I still have several “fun cards” to post, as well as original sketches, like the one below.
Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn, star pitcher for the 1988 alternative reality Cleveland Indians in the Major League universe. This is the first non-Reds card I’ve drawn in several years, and I think the first fictional baseball player I have ever attempted. I’m kind of stuck on 1938 Goudey right now.
Major League is definitely one of my favorite baseball movies, along with The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings, Field of Dreams, 42, and Eight Men Out. I need to watch Bull Durham again, because I didn’t like it the first time I watched it over twenty years ago and have not seen it since.
What are some other baseball movies I should watch when I have the time?
Todd Frazier might be my favorite active third baseman, but he has quite a bit of catching up to do if he wants to replace Chris Sabo at the top of my favorites list. In 1988, when I was in sixth grade, I interviewed Sabo (via telephone) for a school homework assignment. Mrs. Gracey wanted us to write about someone we admired, and most of the other kids chose their dads or grandpas. And it’s not that I don’t love my dad, I do! He instilled in me a love for baseball that, though it has waned from time to time, I still cherish. But I wanted to be different from the other kids, so I called the Reds’ general offices after school and asked to speak to the rookie third baseman.
The operator was very kind, took my name and number and the reason for my call. I hung up the phone and headed out back to shoot some hoops. Not much later, my mom started rapping on the kitchen window, motioning for me to come inside for a telephone call. I came in, and Chris Sabo was on the other end.
I asked him about his favorite team growing up (the Tigers), his favorite player (Al Kaline), and what kind of car he drove (Ford Escort). He was extremely polite, very humble, and even left two tickets for a game a couple of weeks out for my dad and I. We got to sit in the “blue seats” (the good seats back then) with other players’ wives and girlfriends. That was pretty cool.
So, Mr. Frazier, though I will vote for you every year for the All-Star Game, and I will call you my favorite current third baseman, unless you come over for dinner and drop a couple of All-Star tickets off, Mr. Sabo will remain at the top of my list.
I was fiddlin’ around with my colored pencils again last night, and Brandon Phillips became the subject of a 1938 Goudey “Heads Up” card.
Stellar pitching performance last night by Reds ace Johnny Cueto. Cueto has struck out 38 batters and walked only five in five starts. His ERA actually went up to 1.95 after allowing two Brewers to cross the plate, but the offense was awake enough to score more and get #47 the victory.
Tim Carroll is one of my favorite baseball artists. Using non-traditional media such as cut-up junk wax baseball cards, band-aids, and drinking straws, Mr. Carroll has created some stunning pieces. One of his most recent pieces, though, has caused him some trouble.
It’s a fantastic representation of George Brett using pine tar, but the artist reported a problem today on Facebook:
How about it? If you can help Tim come up with a solution, go to his Facebook page and contact him! This is a great piece of art and needs to be preserved!
Draw 50 series
by Lee J. Ames
The late Lee J. Ames was an accomplished artist, having worked on Fantasia and Pinocchio for the Walt Disney Studios and taught classes at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan and Dowling College on Long Island. In his Draw 50 books, Ames presents step-by-step instructions for drawing various subjects, from beasts to aliens to magical creatures. Some of the Draw 50 volumes feature other artists with Ames, such as Draw 50 Aliens with Ric Estrada and Draw 50 Magical Creatures with Andy Mitchell.
The emphasis in these books is imitation, and Ames explains, “Mimicry is prerequisite for developing creativity. We learn the use of our tools by mimicry. Then we can use those tools for creativity.” Each exercise progresses in six to eight steps until the drawing is complete, with the fine details being added in the final step. Some subjects are a bit more complicated, but none are too difficult that they cannot be mastered with patience and practice.
For those who enjoy drawing or believe they might like to learn to sketch these cartoon creatures, Ames’ Draw 50 series is good place to start.
Most internet-lovin’ baseball card collectors have seen Tim Carroll’s famous Honus Wagner artwork, created using a thousand commons. There have been several articles, most of them highlighting the Wagner or the 1952 Mantle that Carroll created. But the dude didn’t stop there.
Carroll has cut up commons to create Namath, Griffey, Rose, Bench, Perez, and several others. He sawed a couple of baseball bats to pay homage to Mariano Rivera. He utilized Band-Aids to create a very unique portrait of Frank Thomas.
This guy is nothing short of a genious, artistically-speaking. I love his work, and if I was not such a slacker, it would motivate me to try my hand at this type of cut-and-paste pop art.
If you’re not already familiar with Tim Carroll’s work, check out his website. And prepare to pick your jaw up off the floor.
I wonder if I should re-name the blog. After all, I haven’t touched my writing much at all in the past six months, and I’ve taken up painting once again. I had decided last night to paint a picture of Ty Cobb, but changed my mind this afternoon when I found out Ken Griffey, Sr. would be signing autographs at the Reds Hall of Fame soon. Read the rest of this entry