Friday, February 22, 2013

HOF Sketch Card Project: Bob Lemon

A fixture on the Cleveland Indians' pitching staffs during the 1940s and 1950s, Bob Lemon would begin his career as a utility player for the Tribe before joining the U.S. Navy during World War II, converting to a pitcher in the process. In 1948, Lemon would help Cleveland win its first World Series since 1920, as he collected two pitching victories. A 7-time American League All-Star, Lemon would win 20 or more games seven times in his career and retire with a lifetime 207-128 record. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976.

I completed this sketch card in December 2012.

10 random facts about Bob Lemon
  • Lemon's Major League debut came not as a pitcher, but as a third baseman on September 9, 1941.
  • Lemon was the MLB leader in shutouts during the 1948 season, with 10.
  • During the 1954 season, Lemon had a career-best 23–7 win-loss record as the Indians set a 154-game season AL-record win mark with 111 victories.
  • A durable pitcher, he led the American League in complete games on 5 separate occasions.  
  • Lemon retired in 1958 with 207 wins, all but ten of them occurring in a ten-year span.
  • He was a 3-time winner of the American League Pitcher of the Year Award (1948, 1950, 1954).
  • He recorded 274 hits in 1,1883 at-bats (.232), and his 37 career home runs are second on the all-time career list for pitchers (behind Wes Ferrell's 38).
  • He was named Manager of the Year with both the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees.
  • He was named Yankees manager during the 1978 season, and proceeded to lead the team to the World Series title that year. By doing so, Lemon became the first AL manager to win a World Series after assuming the managerial role in the middle of a season.
  • The Indians organization retired Lemon's jersey number - 21 - in 1998, making him the sixth Indian to receive the honor.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

HOF Sketch Card Project: Phil Rizzuto

Nicknamed "Scooter", Phil Rizzuto spent his entire 13-year baseball career with the New York Yankees, serving as the team's shortstop from 1941 until 1956. A very popular figure on a team dynasty which captured 10 AL titles and seven World Championships in his 13 seasons, Rizzuto holds numerous World Series records for shortstops. His best statistical season was 1950, when he was named the American League's MVP. Rizzuto was a classic "small ball" player, noted for his strong defense in the infield. The slick-fielding Rizzuto is also regarded as one of the best bunters in baseball history. A solid fielder, Rizzuto's 968 career fielding average at the time of his retirement trailed only Lou Boudreau's mark of .973 among AL shortstops. Rizzuto was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1994.

I completed this sketch card in December 2012.

10 random facts about Phil Rizzuto

  • Rizzuto was named Minor League Player of the Year in 1940 by The Sporting News
  • His Major League career was interrupted by a stint in the U.S. Navy during World War II; from 1943 to 1945, Rizzuto played on a Navy baseball team.
  • Rizzuto won the AL MVP in 1950 after hitting .324 with 200 hits, and collecting 92 walks while scoring 125 runs.
  • During the 1950s, Hall of Famer Ty Cobb named Phil Rizzuto and Stan Musial as "two of the few modern ball players who could hold their own among old timers."
  • When he retired, his 1,217 career double plays ranked second in history, trailing only Luke Appling's total of 1,424. 
  • At the time of his retirement, he appeared in the most World Series games ever (52), a mark that would eventually be surpassed by 5 of his Yankees teammates.
  • After his playing career, he enjoyed a 40-year career as a radio and TV sports announcer for the Yankees; he was well known for his trademark expression, "Holy cow!"
  • The Yankees retired Rizzuto's number 10 in a ceremony at Yankee Stadium on August 4, 1985.
  • He is a 2009 inductee of the New Jersey Hall of Fame.
  • On February 2, 1950, Rizzuto was the very first mystery guest on the 1950–67 Goodson-Todman Productions game show What's My Line? hosted by John Charles Daly.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Boba Fett (Star Wars) Sketch Card


Subject: Star Wars character Boba Fett
Medium: Graphite/pencils
Completed: November 2012

HOF Sketch Card Project: Jim "Catfish" Hunter

A great regular-season pitcher and an even better hurler in the playoffs, Jim "Catfish" Hunter starred for the Kansas City/Oakland A's and New York Yankees between 1965 and 1979. The recipient of the 1974 American League Cy Young award, Hunter compiled a lifetime record of 224 wins and 166 losses with a 3.26 ERA. On May 8, 1968, Hunter became the first American League pitcher since 1922 to hurl a perfect game - the ninth in Major League history- when he victimized the Minnesota Twins. In total, he led his teams to 5 World Series championships - 3 with Oakland and 2 with New York. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987.

I completed this sketch card in December 2012.

10 random facts about Jim "Catfish" Hunter
  • As a rookie, he was given his nickname "Catfish" by Athletics owner Charles Finley in 1965, for no reason other than that he thought his new pitcher needed a flashy nickname.
  • Hunter's perfect game in 1968 was the first no-hitter for the A's since Bill McCahan's gem in 1947.
  • In 1974, he was named Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News, as well as the AL Cy Young Award winner, after going 25-12 with a league-leading 2.49 ERA.
  • While with the A's, Hunter won at least 20 games in four consecutive years, and he had a perfect 4-0 pitching record in World Series contests.
  • Hunter signed with the Yankees in 1975, becoming the highest-paid pitcher in baseball in the process.
  • In 1975, his first season with the Yankees, Hunter became the fourth, and last, American League pitcher to win 20 games for 5 consecutive seasons.
  • Hunter joined Cy Young and Christy Mathewson as the only pitchers in history to win 200 games by the time they were 31 years old.
  • When Hunter was inducted into the Hall of Fame, he chose to be inducted with a blank cap on his plaque instead of being forced to choose induction as an Athletic or a Yankee.
  • His death in 1999 was a result of ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease.
  • While in high school, he was wounded in a hunting accident, leading him to lose one of his toes.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bob Feller Sketch Card

Subject: Baseball Hall of Famer Bob Feller
Medium: Graphite/pencils
Completed: November 2012

Rogers Hornsby Sketch Card

Subject: Baseball Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby
Medium: Graphite/pencils
Completed: November 2012

Lou Gehrig Sketch Card

Subject: Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig
Medium: Graphite/pencils
Completed: November 2012

Walter Johnson Sketch Card

Subject: Baseball Hall of Famer Walter Johnson
Medium: Graphite/pencils
Completed: November 2012

Nellie Fox Sketch Card

Subject: Baseball Hall of Famer Nellie Fox
Medium: Graphite/pencils
Completed: November 2012