A Winter Trip to the Sun with Painted Gloves
The Milwaukee Brewers Fantasy Camp hosted me at their annual event this year and I brought along a couple of gloves especially for the occasion.
First off was a baseball glove painting featuring Brewers (and Red Sox) great, Cecil Cooper. I incorporated two portraits, including one of him batting, onto the vintage Rawlings pro model first base mitt. The painting process can be seen here.
Cecil had high praise for my work, mentioning this is just like a glove he used during his playing days. He shared some personal thoughts, which were quite touching.
The glove was won in a raffle by a happy Fantasy Camper, for whom Coop signed the glove -- right where I thought an autograph would look best. Now that's a keepsake!
Raffle proceeds went toward the Camp's charity this year, the ALS Association.
I also painted a leather mini-glove, only about 6-inches tall, with the Brewers Fantasy Camp logo. Mini-glove details here.
This glove artwork was for Fantasy Camp director, current Brewers TV broadcaster and former catcher, Bill Schroeder, pictured below. Bill has a keen interest in the history of the game and it was a treat to get to meet and talk with him.
My other generous host was photographer and Camp newsletter editor, Rick Ramirez, who expertly snapped great action shots even while talking with me in foul territory!
It also happened to be SABR Day while I was in Phoenix, the nationwide annual celebration of all things baseball by the Society of American Baseball Research.
I was invited to present my work at the Phoenix chapter event, held in the press box at Tempe Diablo Stadium, Spring home of the LA Angels. I received a very warm reception to my work plus some interesting questions from the group and got to meet some passionate fans -- my favorite.
SABR Executive Director, Marc Appleman and Rodney Johnson, Flame Delhi chapter president.
The SABR Day event also featured a wide-ranging debate between baseball writers and Hall of Fame voters Barry Bloom and Tony DeMarco regarding Hall of Fame voting.
A new series of handsome panels at Diablo Stadium depicting and recalling the history of the Cactus League was on display (opens in Facebook). And I received some promising insights from Shoeless Joe Jackson researcher, Jacob Pomrenke, about a 100 year old glove I'll be using for an upcoming project, too.
Being in Phoenix provided a chance to reconnect with a friend, John, who researches Negro Leagues baseball history. His current projects include compiling a collection of baseball cards of Negro Leagues players.
The Bowman 1952 cards are so nice, with crisp, illustrated player portraits. An amazing collection like this deserves a much better photo. They were beautiful and the stories behind each would fill many more hours.
A few days spent with Fantasy Campers, seeing them play ball, visiting with many major leaguers and team personnel, sharing my work with so many baseball people and hearing such kind words about what I'm doing -- all under clear skies and 80 degree temps-- It was a baseball experience that'll be tough to beat.
The biggest of thanks to the Milwaukee Brewers Fantasy Camp.