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 MiƱoso, 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.