A Career Captured on a Mitt: A Gift for Coop

Glove Art Commissioned as a Surprise Present for Cecil Cooper

Last year a Painted Glove featuring Cecil Cooper was created for the Milwaukee Brewers Fantasy Camp as a fundraising item, which turned out to be a hit.

That baseball glove art prompted camp friends and former Brewers teammates of Coop's to commission a new painting celebrating his impressive baseball career -- this time as a surprise gift for him.

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This gift was given to Cecil Cooper at Milwaukee Brewers Fantasy Camp earlier this month (Feb. 2016) in Arizona.

The glove features depictions of Coop's time on two American League Championship Teams: playing first base with the Boston Red Sox (1971-1976) and up to bat the Brewers (1977-1987).

Centered on the large mitt is the main portrait of him as a Brewer.

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Since Coop is a lefty, I chose an appropriate 80's era Rawlings first base mitt, just like the one he told me he used during his career.

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All the big stats and honors from Cecil Cooper's career are noted, including his Gold Gloves, All-Star games, Silver Sluggers and RBI Leader years.

Also, researching his 2192 career hits, I found that Coop ranked 112th on the All-Time Hits list at the time of his retirement.

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Cecil expressed excitement about the gift from his friends and says it will be displayed proudly at home between his Gold Glove Award and Roberto Clemente Award.

As the artist, it doesn't get much better than knowing that a creation is meaningful to the recipient.

 

 

 

Rob Deer and Camper looking on with Coop.

Rob Deer and Camper looking on with Coop.

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What a thrill to be a part of this gift and to have the opportunity to celebrate Coop's career as a player. Big thanks to David, Bill and Jerry for entrusting me with this commission for their friend.

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Sean Kane's baseball glove art is in the collection of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum along with private and corporate collections across the country.  

Inquires about paintings and commissioning glove artworks are welcome. Please contact sean@seankane.com or telephone 519-836-5647.

1982 Milwaukee Brewers Infield on Fantasy Camp Fundraiser Art

'82 Brew Crew Baseball Glove Artwork a Hit

A baseball glove painting commemorating the 1982 Milwaukee Brewers starting infield was part of the fun and fundraising at the Brewers Fantasy Camp recently held in Phoenix.

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The intricate painting features Hall of Famers Paul Molitor and Robin Yount, Jim Gantner and Cecil Cooper.

The glove used is a 1980's Rawlings Pro Model. Upon seeing the glove, Yount said, "That's my gamer." It wasn't actually one of his game-used gloves, but it confirmed that the glove was definitely the right one for this painting.

The deep pocket of the glove and wrap around design of the artwork required cutting my paint brush handles in half (link opens new window) in order to fit my hand in the glove while painting.

The design process involved selecting photo reference of the infielders from 1982, arranging them with an eye on where seams and fingers break up the surface, and sizing them to fit.

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I definitely wanted to include the iconic Brewers logo, placed on the "infield diamond" of the glove, along with other logo types the team used on jerseys from the Championship season.

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Photo: Rick Ramirez

Photo: Rick Ramirez

It was a thrill to be present for Fantasy Camp Q&A Night with participants from the '82 AL Championship team.

And it was a treat showing the artwork to 3 of the 4 guys portrayed on the glove: Gantner, Yount and Cooper.

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Also answering questions that night from the 1982 team were Don Money, Mike Caldwell and Brewers/baseball legend, Bob Uecker, who I got to sit with in the front row.

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Former Brewer and Fantasy Camp coach, Don Money, is shown here with the winner of the glove artwork, camper Paul C., whose name he drew in the raffle.

Best of all, the '82 Brew Crew Painted Glove was part of an exciting and generous camp fundraising effort (including Kangaroo Court fines, jersey auction and matching grants) that raised $7500 for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight

The donation from Brewers Fantasy Camp will send many WWII and Korean War veterans to Washington, DC to visit their memorials. Fantastic!

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A big thanks to Brewers' broadcaster and captain of the camp, Bill Schroeder (above, talking to Brewers' Doug Melvin), along with pal Rick Ramirez and the rest of the Brewers staff and Fantasy Camp family that welcomed me back to their awesome event to be a part of the fun.

1982 Brewers Infielders featured on Painted Glove art by Sean Kane.

1982 Brewers Infielders featured on Painted Glove art by Sean Kane.

Sean Kane's baseball glove art has been featured on NBC Sports.com, ESPN.com, MLB Network Radio, and is in the collection of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, private and corporate collections across the country. Sean has been recognized by the National Art Museum of Sport for his baseball art. 

Inquires about paintings and commissioning glove artworks are welcome. Please contact sean@seankane.com or telephone 519-836-5647.

Brewers Fantasy Camp and SABR: Baseball Fun in Phoenix

A Winter Trip to the Sun with Painted Gloves

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Painting a Baseball Glove: Step-by-Step Look at the Portrait Process

A Peek at Where all the Hours Go

Photo by  DaviesPhoto.ca

This Painted Glove featuring Cecil Cooper was especially time-intensive, easily topping the 40 hour mark.

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Completing this work included: researching the glove he used, finding an available glove, selecting which career highlights to feature, locating reference photos (one of which was supplied, thankfully), designing all of these elements around the landscape of the vintage Rawlings first base mitt, then getting down to painting and hand-lettering. Whew!

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Here's a look at how it all came together using acrylic paints and some pretty tiny brushes.

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First blocking in the areas to be painted.

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Getting the iconic Brewers color scheme and placement worked out.

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First strokes of the portrait, with accurate placement of features of primary concern at this stage.

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Getting started on the hat details.

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Finally getting there!

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There was a second batting stance portrait added on the thumb.

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Ready for the small lettering now.

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What a career!

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Cecil was very complimentary about how it turned out.

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And one lucky Milwaukee Brewers Fantasy Camp participant got to take this keepsake home, signed by Coop.

Now back to the drawing board and the next painted glove...  Thanks for taking a look.