Friday, December 7, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Mickey Mantle

Starring in the outfield for the New York Yankees between 1951 and 1968, Mickey Mantle is regarded by many to be the greatest switch-hitter of all-time, as well as one of the greatest players in baseball history. Noted for his average and power, Mantle won the American League Triple crown in 1956 as well as 3 AL MVP awards. He was named to 20 All-Star Games and appeared in 12 World Series (winning 7 of them). An elite post-season performer, Mantle holds the records for most World Series home runs (18), RBIs (40), runs (42), walks (43), extra-base hits (26), and total bases (123). He is also the career leader (tied with Jim Thome) in walk-off home runs with a combined 13. Mantle was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974, his first year of eligibility.

I completed this sketch card in November 2012.

10 random facts about Mickey Mantle:
  • He was named by his father after fellow Baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Cochrane.
  • Upon joining the Yankees in 1951, he was given the uniform number 6, signifying the expectation that he would become the next Yankees star, following Babe Ruth (#3), Lou Gehrig (#4) and Joe DiMaggio (#5).
  • During Mantle's Triple Crown season of 1956, he was awarded the Hickok Belt award as the top professional athlete of the year.
  • In 1957, the year he won his second consecutive MVP award, Mantle reached base more times than he made outs (319 to 312), one of two seasons in which he achieved the feat.
  • He became the highest-paid baseball player in 1961 by signing a $75,000 contract.
  • During the 1961 season, Mantle and Maris became known as the "M&M Boys" as they chased Babe Ruth's single-season home run record of 60.
  • In 1972, he was a part-time TV commentator for the recently-formed Montreal Expos.
  • At the time of his retirement, Mantle was the Yankees' all-time leader in games played with 2,401, a mark that would later be surpassed by Derek Jeter.
  • Noted for his long battle with alcoholism, Mantle would eventually succumb to  liver cancer on August 13, 1995.
  • Newcastle Field at Bricktown, the home stadium of the Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks, is located at 2 South Mickey Mantle Drive in Oklahoma City. A statue of Mantle, a native Oklahoman, is located at the Mickey Mantle Plaza at the stadium.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Satchel Paige Prismacolor Sketch

Here's a grayscale Prismacolor sketch I recently completed of Baseball Hall of Famer Satchel Paige.

HOF Sketch Card Project: Rogers Hornsby

Nicknamed "The Rajah", Rogers Hornsby played 23 seasons in the Major Leagues, during which time he established himself as one of the greatest hitters in the game's history. He played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1915–1926, 1933), New York Giants (1927), Boston Braves (1928), Chicago Cubs (1929–1932), and St. Louis Browns (1933–1937). Hornsby would finish his career with 2,930 hits, 301 home runs, and a .358 batting average. The winner of 2 Triple Crowns, Hornsby would bat .400 or more 3 times during his career. He was named the National League MVP twice, and was a member of one World Series championship team. After retiring as a player, he managed the Browns in 1952 and the Cincinnati Reds from 1952 to 1953. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1942.

I completed this sketch card in November 2012.

Ten random facts about Rogers Hornsby:

  • His first Major League hit came on September 13, 1915 against fellow Hall of Famer Rube Marquard.
  • Hornsby's career batting average of .358 is second to only Ty Cobb in MLB history.
  • He is the only player to hit 40 home runs and bat .400 in the same year (1922).
  • On September 13, 1931, Hornsby became the first big leaguer to connect for an extra-inning, pinch-hit grand slam, as his Cubs defeated the Braves in 11 innings, 11-7. 
  • He became a scout and third base coach for the expansion New York Mets in 1962, one year before his death.
  • Hornsby led the National League in slugging percentage nine times, a record that still stands.
  • An intense competitor, Hornsby was known as being difficult to get along with and was not well-liked by his fellow players. 
  • Hornsby was an avid gambler and would end up losing much of his earnings over the course of his lifetime.
  • He won seven batting titles in total, a feat tied or exceeded by only five players (Cobb, Tony Gwynn, Honus Wagner, Rod Carew, and Stan Musial). 
  • He hit more home runs, drove in more runs, and had a higher batting average than any other National League player during the 1920s, which makes him one of 4 players in baseball history (along with Honus Wagner, Ted Williams, and Albert Pujols) to win a decade "triple crown".

Curtis Granderson Prismacolor Sketch

Here's a color sketch card I created of Yankees star Curtis Granderson, using Prismacolor pencils.

Sandy Koufax Prismacolor Sketch

Here's a grayscale sketch I created of Baseball Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax. It was created using Prismacolor pencils.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Nolan Ryan

One of the most dominant and intimidating pitchers to ever take the mound, Nolan Ryan spent a Major League-record 27 seasons with the New York Mets, California Angels, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers from 1966 to 1993. Nicknamed "The Ryan Express", the hard-throwing hurler regularly hit 100 miles per hour with his fastball, and is famous for holding the all-time career strikeout record (5,714), as well as pitching more no-hitters (7) than any other pitcher in history. Ryan was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 - his first year of eligibility - as he was named on an astounding 98.8% of the ballots; he fell only 6 votes short of a unanimous election, and remains second behind Tom Seaver for the highest voting percentage ever.

I completed these sketch cards in October 2012.


I completed this sketch card in November 2012.

10 random facts about Nolan Ryan:
  • In 1973, Ryan set his first major record when he struck out 383 batters in one season, beating Sandy Koufax's old mark by one.
  • On April 27, 1983, Ryan would eclipse Walter Johnson's career strikeout record by collecting  his 3,509th strikeout against Brad Mills of the Montreal Expos.
  • Upon signing with the Texas Rangers before the 1989 season, he would become the first player to play for all four MLB original expansion teams (the Mets, Angels, Houston Colt .45s/ Astros and Washington Senators/Texas Rangers).
  • On August 6, 1992, Ryan had the first and only ejection of his career when he was ejected after engaging in a shouting match with Oakland Athletics outfielder Willie Wilson with 2 outs in the 9th inning.
  • Against the Oakland Athletics on August 22, 1989, Ryan struck out Rickey Henderson to become the only pitcher to record 5,000 career strikeouts.
  • Ryan is currently the only major league baseball player to have his number retired by at least 3 different teams (the Angels, Astros, and Rangers).
  • He was the final active player from the 1960s to retire from Major League Baseball, outlasting Carlton Fisk (the final active position player) by three months.
  • In February 2008, Nolan Ryan was hired as president of the Rangers.
  • Ryan played during the administrations of seven U.S. Presidents – Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, Jr., Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton – equaling a 20th Century record that had been set by Jim Kaat.
  • In 1995, the Texas State Legislature declared State Highway 288, which passes near Alvin, as the Nolan Ryan Expressway.

Sketch Card- Shane Walsh (The Walking Dead)...Graphite Style

One of my favorite scenes from The Walking Dead took place when villainous character Shane Walsh completed his transformation from human to zombie in Season 2. I have captured him as he appeared shortly after making this turn.

Sketch Card- Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead)

More Walking Dead art...this time, it's fan-favorite hunter/redneck/crossbow expert Daryl Dixon, as portrayed by actor Norman Reedus.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ty Cobb Graphite Drawing

Another graphite drawing, this time of Baseball Hall of Famer Ty "The Georgia Peach" Cobb.

Roberto Clemente Graphite Drawing

Here's a sketch card-sized graphite drawing I completed over the weekend depicting Baseball Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente.

Sketch Card- Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead)

Here's a graphite rendering of Walking Dead hero Rick Grimes. I've been experimenting with graphite pencils recently and have developed a liking for them.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Bill Mazeroski

Bill Mazeroski starred at second base for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1956 to 1972 and, in the process, established himself as perhaps the greatest defensive player in history at his position. Despite modest offensive statistics, Mazeroski finished his career with an impressive .983 fielding percentage, prompting noted baseball analyst to declare that "Bill Mazeroski's defensive statistics are probably the most impressive of any player at any position." 

The moment Mazeroski is most widely remembered for is his World Series-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning during Game 7 of the 1960 Fall Classic. This homer broke a 9-9 tie with the Yankees and was the first home run ever hit that won a World Series for a team. 

Mazeroski was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001 by the Veterans Committee.

I completed this sketch card in October 2012.

10 random facts about Bill Mazeroski:
  • A 10-time National League All-Star, Mazeroski led the league in assists 9 times, fielding percentage 3 times and double plays 8 times.
  • During his peak (1957–68), he drove in more runs than any other middle infielder of that time period.
  • He holds the Major League career record for double plays by a second baseman.
  • Although Joe Carter would also hit a World Series-winning homer for the Blue Jays in Game 6 of the 1993 Fall Classic, Mazeroski remains the only person whose homer decided a World Series Game 7.
  • In a role originally intended for Roberto Clemente, Mazeroski had a cameo appearance in the 1968 film The Odd Couple, in which he hit into a game-ending triple play. 
  • In his career, Mazeroski hit over twice as many home runs on the road as he did in his home park – 45 home runs at home versus 93 on the road.
  • In 1987, Mazeroski unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic nomination for County Commissioner in his home of Westmoreland County, PA.
  • A statue depicting Mazeroski running the bases during his famous home run was unveiled on September 5, 2010 outside PNC Park, current home of the Pirates. 
  • In 2004, the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference saluted Mazeroski by electing him among the inaugural members of their Hall of Fame, alongside Boston Celtic great John Havlicek and former Olympic wrestler Bobby Douglas.
  • Mazeroski hosts an annual golf tournament, The Bill Mazeroski Golf Tournament.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Larry Doby

While sports fans often sing the praises of Jackie Robinson and his feat of breaking baseball's color barrier, similar praise should be given to a fellow Hall of Famer- Larry Doby. Breaking into the pro ball ranks in the Negro League at age 17, Doby would become the first black player to play for an American League team, debuting with the Cleveland Indians in 1947 - shortly after Robinson broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The first player to jump directly from the Negro League to the Majors, Doby made an immediate impact, becoming an all-star center fielder for the tribe while helping to lead his team to a world title in 1948. 

Doby would enjoy a productive 13-seasons in the Majors before retiring and becoming an executive for the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998 by the Veterans Committee. 

I created this sketch card in October 2012.

10 random facts about Larry Doby:
  • Doby joined the U.S. Navy during World War II and would return to pro ball in 1946.
  • While serving in the Navy, Doby would meet fellow Navy man and future teammate Mickey Vernon. Vernon, then with the Washington Senators, was so impressed with Doby's skills he wrote to Senators owner Clark Griffith, encouraging Griffith to sign Doby should the MLB ever allow integration.
  • Unlike Robinson's debut in the Majors - which came after a period of planning and some time in the minor leagues - the decision to integrate Doby was more sudden; team owner Bill Veeck felt that fan reaction would be more positive if Doby just appeared on the field, ready to play ball for Cleveland when the team felt it was the right time. 
  • In 1948, Doby experienced his first spring training with the Indians in Tucson, Arizona. Unlike their white teammates, Doby, along with Satchel Paige and fellow black Major Leaguer Minnie Miñoso, were not permitted to stay at the nearby Santa Rita hotel but instead stayed with a local black family and used a rental car provided by the Indians for transportation.
  • Doby and teammate Paige became the first African-American players to win a World Series championship when the Indians won in 1948.
  • In 1962, Doby came out of retirement and became the third American to play pro ball in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball League.
  • He was the first black player to hit a homer in the World Series and in an All-Star Game.
  • In 1978, Doby became the second African-American manager in the Majors when he took over the reins for the Chicago White Sox.
  • Doby's uniform number 14 was retired by the Cleveland Indians on July 3, 1994. 
  • Doby became the first person born in South Carolina to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Sketch Card- T-Dog (The Walking Dead)

Decided to create a Prismacolor rendering of one of my favorite Walking Dead characters, Theodore "T-Dog" Douglas. T-Dog is played by actor IronE Singleton.

Sketch Card- Carl Grimes (The Walking Dead)

Here's one of my 'white-washed' stipple pieces, depicting Walking Dead character Carl Grimes, complete with his trademark sheriff's hat. Carl is played by actor Chandler Riggs.

Sketch Card- Shane Walsh (The Walking Dead)

More Walking Dead's my representation of Shane Walsh, portrayed by actor Jon Bernthal. This scene is perhaps the first to show his descent into madness. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sketch Card- Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead)

To commemorate the start of Season 3 of The Walking Dead (one of my absolute favorite TV shows), I have decided to create some artwork centered around this fine show.

My first piece is a stipple ACEO sketch card of Rick Grimes, portrayed by actor Andrew Lincoln.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Joe DiMaggio

Beloved by fans everywhere and not just those in New York, Joe DiMaggio would rise to prominence in the late 1930s and 1940s to become one of the greatest ballplayers of all-time. Spending his entire 13-year career with the New York Yankees between 1936 and 1951, "The Yankee Clipper" would go on to captivate the nation in 1941 by hitting in 56 consecutive games, a record which still stands. A 3-time American League MVP and 13-time All-Star, he is the only player to be selected for the All-Star Game in every season he played. At the time of his retirement, DiMaggio ranked fifth in career homers with 361 and sixth in career slugging percentage, clocking in at an astounding .579. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.

I created this sketch card in October 2012:

10 random facts about Joe DiMaggio:
  • In his 13 seasons with the Yankees, DiMaggio would lead the team to 9 World Series championships.
  • DiMaggio earned his nickname "The Yankee Clipper" in 1939 by stadium announcer Arch McDonald, who likened DiMaggio's speed and range in the outfield to the then-new Pan American airliner.
  • DiMaggio enjoyed a record 56-game hitting streak in 1941. Although he would go hitless in game number 57, he would start a new streak the very next day, hitting in 17 consecutive games. He would go on to hit safely in 73 of 74 games, which is also a record.
  • DiMaggio missed the 1943-45 baseball seasons due to serving in the U.S. military.
  • In 1949, he signed a record contract worth $100,000 and, as a result, became the first baseball player to break $100,000 in earnings.
  • He married actress Marilyn Monroe in 1954; however, their union would last just under a year.
  • His brothers Vince and Dom also spent time in the Major Leagues as center fielders.
  • DiMaggio's uniform number 5 was retired by the Yankees in 1952.
  • A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, DiMaggio became the first hitting instructor for the newly-relocated Oakland Athletics in 1968.
  • In the 1970s, DiMaggio would become a spokesman for Mr. Coffee and would be the face of the company for over 20 years.

Friday, October 12, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Rollie Fingers

Throughout his career, Rollie Fingers was known as one of the most dominant relief pitchers in the Major Leagues. Pitching for the Oakland Athletics (1968–76), San Diego Padres (1977–80) and Milwaukee Brewers (1981–85), the 7-time All-Star would go on to win the American League Cy Young and MVP awards in 1981, establishing himself as perhaps the greatest closer in the game's history up to that point. He would ultimately follow in the footsteps of Hoyt Wilhelm and become only the second reliever to be inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, gaining election in 1992. Fingers is also one of only a few MLB players to have his number retired by more than one club (Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers).

I completed this sketch card in October 2011. 

10 random facts about Rollie Fingers:
  • He was a starter throughout his minor league career and for his first 19 Major League games before being converted to a reliever.
  • A member of 3 consecutive World Series-winning teams with the Oakland A's in the early 1970s, Fingers would win the 1974 World Series MVP Award with one win and two saves for the A's.
  • His father, George Fingers, played minor league baseball and roomed with Hall of Famer Stan Musial.
  • Noted for his handlebar mustache, Fingers initially grew it in order to receive a $300 bonus from A's owner Charlie Finley; Finley offered his players the reward for being able to grow and maintain their facial hair until Opening Day 1972.
  • In 1980, Fingers broke Hoyt Wilhelm's career saves record of 227; he would eventually finish was 341, establishing a record that would stand until 1992.
  • He won the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award in 1977, 1978, 1980 and 1982.
  • Fingers was offered a contract to play for the Cincinnati Reds in 1986 but, due to the team's anti-facial hair policy, shaving his mustache off would be a requirement; Fingers declined the contract.
  • Fingers' uniform number 34 was retired by both the A's (in 1993) and Milwaukee Brewers (in 1992).
  • In 2000, he was inducted into the San Diego Hall of Champions, which honors San Diego's finest athletes both on and off the playing field.
  • Fingers, along with 4 of his Brewers teammates, appeared on a 1983 episode of Family Feud.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Derek Jeter Sketch Card

Here's a stipple drawing I just completed of current Yankees captain and future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter.

Monday, October 1, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Nellie Fox

Nellie Fox starred at second base for 3 teams, but was best known for his contributions to the Chicago White Sox during the 1950s and early 1960s. A member of the "Go-Go Sox", Fox helped exemplify the team's penchant toward playing small ball- using speed and bunting to defeat opponents. Enjoying his finest season in 1959, Fox won the the American League MVP award that year, during which he batted .306 and had an on-base percentage of .380 while helping lead the White Sox to the best record in baseball- a 94-60 mark.

After retiring in 1965, Fox went on to become a Major League coach before tragically succumbing to skin cancer in 1975, at the age of 47. His Hall of Fame induction would come via the Veterans Committee in 1997, after barely missing induction in 1985 by being named on 74.7% of the ballots, just short of the required 75% needed for induction.

I completed this sketch card in October 2012.

I completed this sketch card in January 2013.

 10 random facts about Nellie Fox:
  • One of the toughest batters to strike out, Fox fanned only 216 times in his career- an average of once every 42.7 at-bats (ranking him 3rd all-time).
  • He holds the record for most consecutive years leading the league in singles with seven (1954-60).
  • In Fox's only postseason appearance - the 1959 World Series - he led the White Sox with a .375 batting average.
  • Fox was a 3-time Gold Glove winner at second base.
  • Fox was the first White Sox player to be named AL MVP.
  • He set the record for most consecutive games played at second base with 798.
  • Fox was a 12-time All-Star. 
  • Fox was well known for using a thick-handled bat for more control at the plate, giving him an edge in spraying hits to all areas of the field. 
  • Fox used the smallest fielder's gloves available throughout his career, during the era when gloves were increasing in size and complexity.
  • His uniform number 2 was retired by the White Sox in 1976.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Commission: 1968 Topps Killebrew/Mays/Mantle Super Stars card (#490)

I just wrapped up a commission assignment for a client who wanted a reproduction of card #490 from the 1968 Topps baseball set. This is a well-known card featuring 3 of the game's biggest sluggers- Harmon Killebrew, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle.

I chose to reproduce this card using black & white stippling for the image, and I created a solid black background so that the image of the 3 players would pop pretty well. It was done on 2.5" x 3.5" illustration board.

Here is an image of my rendering:

Here is the back of the card (the card is not warped; it's just the angle at which the picture was taken):

HOF Sketch Card Project: Frank Robinson

One of the premiere sluggers during his time in the Majors, Frank Robinson's career spanned  from 1956 to 1976. Known primarily as a superstar with the Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles, he was a 2-time MVP who won the Triple Crown, played on 2 World Series-winning teams (the 1966 and 1970 Baltimore Orioles), and amassed the fourth-most career home runs at the time of his retirement. Upon his retirement, he became the first African-American to serve as a Major League manager. Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, his first year on the ballot.

I completed this sketch card in September 2012.

10 random facts about Frank Robinson:
  • In his first season with the Reds in 1956, Robinson tied the then-record of 38 homers by a rookie; he was subsequently named National League Rookie of the Year. 
  • He was named MVP for the Cincinnati Reds in 1961 and the Baltimore Orioles in 1966, becoming the first and, to date, only player to accomplish this feat.
  • Robinson's league-leading .316 batting average in 1966 is the lowest by a Triple Crown winner. 
  • On May 8, 1966, he became the only player to ever hit a homer completely out of Baltimore's Memorial Stadium.
  • On June 26, 1970, Robinson hit back-to-back grand slams (in the fifth and sixth innings) in the Orioles' 12–2 victory over the Washington Senators at RFK Stadium. The same runners were on base on both home runs—Dave McNally on third, Don Buford on second and Paul Blair on first.
  • He is the Reds' all-time leader in slugging percentage (.554).
  • In 1975, Robinson was named player-manager for the Cleveland Indians, making him the first black manager in the Majors. 
  • He was awarded the American League Manager of the Year Award in 1989 for leading the Baltimore Orioles to an 87–75 record, a turnaround from their previous season in which they went 54–107. 
  • He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 9, 2005, by President George W. Bush.
  • Both the Reds and Orioles have retired his uniform number 20.

Phil Rizzuto Sketch

Here's Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto in gray-scale Prismacolor pencils.

Willie Mays Prismacolor Sketch

Here's a color rendering of The Say Hey Kid, Willie Mays:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Joe DiMaggio Prismacolor Sketch

My latest creation: a Prismacolor gray-scale sketch of The Yankee Clipper, Joltin' Joe DiMaggio.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ty Cobb Prismacolor Sketch

For this sketch of baseball legend Ty Cobb, I wanted to get an "old-timey" effect that is reminiscent of photographs from the early 20th century. I used gray-scale Prismacolor pencils and finished the drawing off with a gold-colored background.

Kirby Puckett Prismacolor Sketch

Here is a sketch card drawing I recently did of Baseball Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett using Prismacolor pencils. I've really been enjoying utilizing this medium, and I feel that Prismacolor makes the best color pencils on the market.

Friday, September 14, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Wade Boggs

Wade Boggs was a third baseman who became a star during the 1980s with the Boston Red Sox, establishing himself as the premiere third baseman in the American League. Playing for Boston from 1982 to 1992, Boggs, helped lead the team to the 1986 World Series, which they would ultimately lose to the New York Mets. Despite this defeat, Boggs would go on to win the only World Series title in his career in 1996, after joining the New York Yankees. He would close out his career by signing with the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 1998 and spending 2 seasons with the team. Boggs was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005, his first year of eligibility.

I completed this sketch card in September 2012.

10 random facts about Wade Boggs:
  • While playing in the minor leagues for the Pawtuckett Red Sox, Boggs was involved in the longest game in pro baseball history- a 33-inning affair that lasted more than 8 hours and resulted in Pawtuckett defeating the Rochester Red Wings 3-2.
  • One of the greatest contact hitters ever, Boggs hit at least .325 every season between 1982 and 1988. 
  • From 1983 to 1989, Boggs collected 200 hits for 7 consecutive seasons, establishing a record that was later matched and surpassed by Ichiro Suzuki.
  • Boggs hit the first homer in Devil Rays history on March 31, 1998.
  • Boggs became the first of only 2 players to record a home run as his 3,000th base hit on August 7, 1999.
  • Along with Tony Gwynn, Boggs hit .350 in 4 straight seasons- the only players to do so since 1931.
  • Boggs was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2004.
  • With 12 straight All-Star appearances, Boggs is third to only Brooks Robinson and George Brett in number of consecutive appearances as a third baseman.
  • Boggs asked Fenway Park public address announcer Sherm Feller not to say his uniform number when being introduced; Boggs once broke out of a slump on a day when Feller forgot to announce his number.
  • Known for his superstitions, Boggs ate chicken before every game, woke up at the same time every day, took exactly 117 ground balls in practice, took batting practice at 5:17, and ran sprints at 7:17.

George Brett Prismacolor Sketch

And here's a Prismacolor pencil sketch of another baseball Hall of Famer- George Brett.

Mickey Mantle Prismacolor Sketch

Been playing around with the Prismacolor pencils lately, and just finished 2 sketch card drawings. The first one is of baseball immortal Mickey Mantle:

Friday, September 7, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Martin Dihigo

Martín Dihigo was a multi-talented Cuban ballplayer who excelled in the Negro leagues and Latin American leagues during his 12-season career. Starring at a myriad of positions, but mostly at pitcher and second base,  Dihigo began his professional career at the age of 16 as a substitute infielder for Habana in the Cuban League. As a member of the Cuban League, he accumulated a record 107 wins as a pitcher while hurling 121 complete games. While with the Mexican League, Dihigo achieved a record .676 winning percentage while playing the same position. During his career, he would play for 14 different teams in the Negro, Cuban and Mexican Leagues. Dihigo was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.

I completed this sketch card in September 2012.

10 random facts about Martin Dihigo:
  • Over the course of his career, Dihigo played all 9 positions on the baseball diamond.
  • As a batter, Dihigo led the Negro leagues in homers in 1926 and 1935. 
  • His greatest season came in the Mexican League in 1938, where he went 18-2 as a pitcher with a 0.90 ERA, while also winning the batting title with a .387 average.
  • In the Cuban League, Dihigo had a career pitching record of 107-56 while batting .298.
  • Aside from being a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Dihigo is also a member of the Cuban and Mexican Baseball Halls of Fame, as well as the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame. 
  • He is the only player to be inducted into the American, Cuban and Mexican Baseball Halls of Fame, and he is also a member of the Venezuela and Dominican Republic Halls of Fame. 
  • As a pitcher, he threw the first no-hitter in Mexican League history.
  • Combining his Dominican, American, Cuban and Mexican statistics, Dihigo accumulated a lifetime .302 batting average with 130 homers that are accounted for, as well as a 252-132 pitching record.
  • He was Cuba's Minister of Sport from 1959 until his death in 1971.
  • His nickname in his home country of Cuba was "The Immortal".

Thursday, September 6, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Yogi Berra

Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra is one of the most revered people to ever be associated with Major League Baseball. Beginning as a star catcher who spent almost all of his 19-year career with the New York Yankees, Berra would go on to manage the Yankees and New York Mets at the conclusion of his playing career. He would also serve as a coach for the aforementioned clubs, as well as for the Houston Astros. Along with his baseball exploits - which also include 3 American League MVP awards, 18 All Star appearances and a staggering 13 World Series championships (10 as a player) - Berra is widely known for his sense of humor and clever quips, including his famous saying, "It ain't over 'til it's over". 

Berra was induced into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972. Amazingly, despite being considered the greatest catcher in MLB history by many, Berra was not a first-ballot inductee, having gathered only 67% of the vote in his first year of eligibility in 1971.

I completed this sketch card in September 2012.

10 random facts about Yogi Berra:
  • Berra served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, where he was a gunner's mate in the D-Day invasion.
  • In Game 3 of the 1947 World Series, he hit the first pinch-hit homer in World Series history, connecting off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca.
  • He is one of only 4 players in AL history to be named MVP 3 times.
  • As a player, coach or manager, Berra appeared in 21 World Series.
  • His 10 World Series championships as a player is a record that still stands.
  • Although known for his clever and sometimes thought-provoking quips, he quit school after the eighth grade.
  • He received MVP votes in 15 consecutive seasons, tied with Barry Bonds and second to Hank Aaron's 19 straight seasons. 
  • The number 8 was retired in 1972 by the Yankees, jointly honoring Berra and Bill Dickey, his predecessor as the Yankees' star catcher.
  • He was given the nickname "Yogi" from a friend who remarked that he resembled a Hindu yogi whenever he sat around with his arms and legs crossed while waiting to bat.
  • On July 18, 1999, Berra was honored with "Yogi Berra Day" at Yankee Stadium, with Don Larsen throwing the first pitch to Berra, in honor of Larsen's perfect game from the 1956 World Series. During that day's game, Yankees pitcher David Cone would go on to throw a perfect game against the Montreal Expos.

Ty Cobb Sketch Card- Dark Tone

As with my Mickey Mantle piece, I gave this Ty Cobb sketch the 'dark' treatment by going heavy on the ink.

Mickey Mantle Sketch Card- Dark Tone

Decided to try something a little different and focus on the 'darker' aspects of my source picture when creating this stipple piece. I used a thicker Micron pen to produce this drawing of Mickey Mantle, which ended up giving it a 'negative' type of effect.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Jackie Robinson

Perhaps no player in the history of the game was more important on a social level than Jackie Robinson. The first black Major Leaguer of the modern era, Robinson played a pivotal role in ushering in the racial integration of ballclubs when he debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Despite facing a slew of volatile racist taunts, Robinson went on to have a great career, playing in the Majors for 10 seasons between 1947 and 1956. During that time, he played in 6 World Series and would help the Dodgers win the championship in 1956. After retiring, he took part in numerous off-the-field ventures, including becoming a television analyst and a vice-president for the Chock Full o' Nuts company. 

He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, his first year of eligibility. As such, he became the first black man to receive this honor.

I completed this sketch card in August 2012.

10 random facts about Jackie Robinson:
  • His middle name (Roosevelt) was in honor of former President Theodore Roosevelt, who died 25 days before Robinson was born.
  • In 1941, Robinson became the first athlete in the history of UCLA to letter in 4 sports (baseball, football, basketball and track) in the same year. 
  • He made his Major League debut on April 15, 1947, before a crowd of 26,623 spectators- more than 14,000 who were black.
  • he hit for the cycle during a 12–7 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 29, 1948.
  • He was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947.
  • In the 1960s, he helped establish the Freedom National Bank, an African-American-owned financial institution based in Harlem, New York.
  • In 1997, Major League Baseball retired his uniform number 42 across all teams, meaning that no other player will ever wear the number again (with the exception of Mariano Rivera, who wore 42 before it was retired and has been allowed to continue wearing it until his retirement).
  • In recognition of his achievements on and off the field, Robinson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.
  • From 1957 to 1964, Robinson was the Vice President for Personnel at Chock full o' Nuts; as a result, he became the first black person to serve as vice president of a major American corporation.
  • Robinson portrayed himself in the 1950 motion picture The Jackie Robinson Story.

Monday, August 27, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Max Carey

One of the game's first true base-stealing stars, Max Carey played center field for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1910 to 1926 and for the Brooklyn Robins from 1926 to 1929.  During his career, he led the National League in stolen bases 10 times and finished with 738 swipes, an NL record until 1974 and still the 9th-highest total in Major League history. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1961 by the Veterans Committee.

I completed this sketch card in August 2012.

10 random facts about Max Carey:
  • He was born as Maximillian George Carnarius and adopted the name Max Carey when he played his first pro baseball game; the name would stick with him for his entire career.
  • A durable player, Carey had only one season in which he played fewer than 108 games- an injury-plagued 1919.
  • In 1922 he stole 51 bases and was caught only twice.
  • He stole home 33 times in his career, second-best only to Ty Cobb's 50 on the all-time list.
  • An excellent fielder, he retired holding a Major League record of 6 seasons with over 400 putouts, including a remarkable 450 in 1923.
  • Carey led the Pirates to victory in the 1925 World Series, batting .458 with 11 hits and 3 stolen bases.
  • Following his big league career, he co-owned a baseball school in Ft. Lauderdale and toured Japan with an amateur team.
  • Carey managed the Milwaukee Chicks and the Fort Wayne Daisies of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1944, and served as the league's president until 1950.
  • According to a letter from his wife in his Hall of Fame file, Carey was the first player to use flip-down sunglasses in the outfield.
  • Carey invested heavily in Florida real estate, and lost over $100,000 in the stock market crash of 1929.

HOF Sketch Card Project: Lou Gehrig

Nicknamed "The Iron Horse" for his durability, Lou Gehrig starred at first base for the New York Yankees for 17 seasons, from 1923 until 1939. He set numerous Major League records during his career, with his most famous achievement being his amazing streak of playing in 2,130 consecutive games, a mark that stood until Cal Ripken, Jr. surpassed him in 1995. Gehrig's career was cut short when he was stricken with ALS in 1939- a disease that would go on to bear his name after his passing in 1941. Upon announcing his illness to the public, the Baseball Hall of Fame withdrew its mandatory 5-year waiting period in order to induct Gehrig in 1939, while he was still alive to enjoy this honor.

I completed this sketch card in August 2012.

10 random facts about Lou Gehrig:
  • A highly-intelligent player, Gehrig played collegiate baseball at Columbia University, an Ivy League institution.
  • In 1927, Gehrig put up one of the greatest seasons by any batter in history, hitting .373, with 218 hits: 52 doubles, 18 triples, 47 home runs, a then-record 175 RBI (surpassing teammate Babe Ruth's mark of 171 six years earlier), and a .765 slugging percentage.
  • He won the 1934 American League Triple Crown, leading the league in batting average, home runs, and RBIs.
  • He won the AL MVP award in 1927 and 1936.
  • Gehrig finished his career with the most grand slams in a career (23), and held the record until Alex Rodriguez tied him in 2012. 
  • He had 509 RBIs during a three-season stretch (1930–32). Only 2 other players, Jimmie Foxx with 507 and Hank Greenberg with 503, have surpassed 500 RBIs in any three seasons; their totals, however, were non-consecutive.
  • Three of the top 6 RBI seasons in baseball history belong to Gehrig. 
  • Gehrig was the first baseball player to have his uniform number retired. 
  • Gehrig holds the record for most consecutive seasons with 120 or more RBI, with 8.
  • He was the first athlete to appear on a box of Wheaties.

Friday, August 24, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Harmon Killebrew

One of the premiere sluggers of the 1950s and 1960s, Harmon Killebrew played first base, third base and left field during his 22-year Major League career. Known primarily as a superstar for the Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins franchise from 1954 to 1974, Killebrew would finish his career by playing in 106 games for the Kansas City Royals in 1975. During the 1960s, he would hit 40 home runs in a season eight times. His finest season was 1969, when he hit 49 home runs, recorded 140 RBI, and won the AL MVP Award. Killebrew led the league 6 times in home runs and three times in RBIs, and was named to eleven All-Star teams. When he retired, he was second only to Babe Ruth in American League home runs, and was the AL career leader in home runs by a right-handed batter (since surpassed by Alex Rodriguez). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984, his fourth year of eligibility.

I completed this sketch card in August 2012.

10 random facts about Harmon Killebrew:
  • Killebrew signed his first contract under MLB's Bonus Rule, which required that he spend 2 full seasons on the Major League roster; he would make his big league debut 4 days after signing his contract, at age 17. 
  • On July 18, 1962, in a game against the Cleveland Indians, Killebrew and Bob Allison became the first teammates since 1890 to hit grand slams in the same inning as the Twins would score 11 runs in the first.
  • On August 3, 1962, he was the first batter ever to hit a baseball over the left field roof at Tiger Stadium, a seldom-reached target that only 3 others were able to accomplishe over the next 37 seasons, before the stadium was closed.
  • Elected to play first base on the 1965 AL All-Star team, Killebrew became the first player in All-Star game history to be elected at three different positions, having previously been selected to play third base (1959 and 1961) and left field (1963 and 1964).
  • On June 3, 1967, Killebrew blasted the longest home run ever hit at Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis-  a shot that landed in the second deck of the bleachers. 
  • Before the 1971 season began, he was awarded the first $100,000 contract in Twins' history.
  • His uniform number 3 was retired in May 1975, when he was a member of the Kansas City Royals, before a Royals-Twins game at Metropolitan Stadium.
  • The street along the south side of the Mall of America, the former site of Metropolitan Stadium, was named "Killebrew Drive" in his honor.
  • Killebrew finished with the record for having the most plate appearances (9,831) without a sacrifice hit; this was since broken by Frank Thomas and his 10,074 plate appearances.
  • He holds the all-time home run record among players born in the state of Idaho with 573; Vance Law is second with 71.

Prince Fielder Sketch Card

Here is my take on former Milwaukee Brewers and current Detroit Tigers slugger Prince Fielder:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Ty Cobb

Among the upper-echelon players in the annals of Major League Baseball history, Ty Cobb spent 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers before finishing his career with the Philadelphia Athletics. Nicknamed "The Georgia Peach", Cobb is credited with setting 90 MLB records during his famed career, and as of 2012 still holds the record for highest career batting average (.366) and most career batting titles (11). He retained many other records for almost a half century or more, including most career hits until 1985, most career runs until 2001,most career games played and at bats until 1974,and the modern record for most career stolen bases until 1977. Cobb's legacy as an athlete has sometimes been overshadowed by his surly temperament and aggressive playing style, which was described by the Detroit Free Press as "daring to the point of dementia."

Cobb was part of the Hall of Fame's charter class in 1936, and he received the most votes of any player on the inaugural ballot (222 out of a possible 226 votes).

I completed this sketch card in August 2012.

I completed this sketch card in November 2012:

I completed this sketch card in December 2012:

10 random facts about Ty Cobb:
  • At age 20 in 1907, he became the youngest player to win a batting title, and would hold this record until 1955, when Al Kaline would win the American League batting crown.
  • In the off-season between 1907 and 1908, Cobb negotiated with Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina, offering to coach baseball there for $250 a month, provided that he did not sign with Detroit that season. This did not come to pass, however.
  • Cobb won the 1909 AL Triple Crown by hitting .377 with 107 RBI and 9 homers.
  • His AL-leading 9 homers in 1909 were all inside-the-park homers; he became the only player in the modern era to lead his league in homers without hitting a ball over the fence.
  • On May 5, 1925, Cobb collected 16 total bases (three home runs, a double and two singles), setting a single-game AL record that has yet to be surpassed.
  • A noted speedster, Cobb reached first base, stole second, stole third and then stole home 5 different times in his career.
  • In September 1907, Cobb began a relationship with The Coca-Cola Company that would last the remainder of his life. By the time he died, he owned over 20,000 shares of stock and three bottling plants: one in Santa Maria, California; one in Twin Falls, Idaho; and one in Bend, Oregon. He was also a celebrity spokesman for the product.
  • Cobb was often embroiled in controversy during his career. In 1907, he fought a groundskeeper over the condition of the Tigers' Spring Training field, and ended up choking the groundskeeper's wife when she intervened. In 1912, he assaulted a heckler in the stands who, unbeknownst to Cobb, was physically handicapped. Cobb was also involved in numerous other fights, both on and off the field, during his career.
  • Cobb is the only player with two 35-game hitting streaks to his credit (he hit safely in 40 straight in 1911 and 35 straight in 1917).
  • At the time of his death in 1961, Cobb's estate was reported to be worth at least $11.8 million (equivalent to $91.6 million today), including $10 million worth of General Motors stock and $1.78 million in The Coca-Cola Company stock.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Charlie Gehringer

Widely regarded as one of the greatest second basemen of all time, Charlie Gehringer played exclusively for the Detroit Tigers between 1924 and 1942. During his career, Gehringer compiled a .320 batting average and had seven seasons with more than 200 hits. Nicknamed "The Mechanical Man" by Yankee pitcher Lefty Gomez for his consistency as an all-around player, he was the American League batting champion in 1937 with a .371 average, a feat helped him win the MVP that season. He was among the Top 10 vote recipients in the Most Valuable Player voting for seven straight years from 1932 to 1938. A perennial all-star, Gehringer played every inning of MLB's first six All Star Games. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1949.

I completed this sketch card in August 2012.

10 random facts about Charlie Gehringer:

  • In 1934, Gehringer had his best year to that point, playing all 154 games and leading the Tigers to their first American League pennant in 25 years.
  • During a ceremony on "Charlie Gehringer Day" in 1929, the people from his hometown presented Gehringer with a set of golf clubs. Though the clubs were right-handed, and Gehringer was left-handed, he learned to golf right-handed rather than trade for a left-handed set of clubs.
  • After the 1934 season, Gehringer was part of the Major League All Star tour of Japan. The American team included Gehringer, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jimmie Foxx.
  • His 7,068 assists is the second-highest total in MLB history for a second baseman. 
  • Gehringer's career totals of 2,839 hits and 574 doubles both rank 19th in Major League history. 
  • Famed Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige claimed that Gehringer was the best white hitter he ever pitched against.
  • In the off-season, Gehringer worked as a sales clerk in the downtown Detroit.
  • Gehringer served as the Tigers' General Manager and Vice President during the 1950s.
  • Gehringer's number 2 was retired by the Tigers in 1983.
  • Gehringer enlisted in the U.S. Navy after the 1942 season; he served 3 years, and was released from duty in 1945.