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.