First Finished Painting

Yesterday in our painting group I finished my first painting!  I’m not satisfied with it, but I could work on it forever and never be satisfied with it.  At some point you just have to say, “Enough!”  So here it is:

What I mostly worked on yesterday was the face.  It still doesn’t really look like Bobby Murcer, but at least it doesn’t look so much like a Neanderthal.  Here’s a closeup:

Now I don’t know what to do with the painting, ’cause I’ve never finished one before.  What’re you supposed to do with them once they’re done?

Published in: on February 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm  Comments (5)  

Funny Football Quote

“Football combines the two worst features of modern American life; it’s violence punctuated by committee meetings.”
– George F. Will

Published in: on February 2, 2009 at 10:35 am  Comments (2)  

The Shot Heard Round My Mailbox

When I was a kid one of my hobbies was collecting autographs of baseball players through the mail.  Recently I’ve been reading The Echoing Green, a book I borrowed from my brother Dylan about what is probably the single most famous home run in baseball history.  So I decided to revive my old hobby by writing to Bobby Thomson.

In 1951, the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers battled for the pennant down to the last game of the season.  The Giants staged an amazing comeback and forced the Dodgers to a playoff.  In the deciding game, the Dodgers were up by two in the bottom of the ninth.  With the Giants at bat and two men on base, Bobby Thomson hit a rocket into the stands in left field to win the ballgame and the pennant, sending them to the World Series to face the New York Yankees.

This famous home run has become known as “the shot heard round the world.”

I bought an 8×10 photo of Thomson slugging the famous homer and mailed it to him with a letter and a self-addressed stamped envelope.  It’s only been a week since I mailed it, so I was happilysurprised to find it waiting for me in the mailbox today.

Mr. Thomson signed the picture and wrote “The Shot Heard Round the World, Oct. 3, 1951.”

Though I’d never done this before, I decided to send a brief questionnaire with the picture.  I never thought he’d actually fill it out and return it!  But he did, so here are the questions along with his answers:

  • Who were your favorite teammates?  Whitey Lockman and Alvin Dark.
  • What were the personal highlights of your career?  Hitting “The Shot” against the Dodgers & winning the pennant in 1951.  Also the homer I hit on Oct. 1, 1951, to win the first playoff game.
  • Who was the toughest pitcher you ever faced?  Don Drysdale.
  • Who was the toughest team you ever played against?  Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • Who was the greatest hitter you ever saw?  Ted Williams.
  • Who was the greatest pitcher you ever saw?  Allie Reynolds.

Pretty cool mail day!  Now I remember why I had so much fun doing this as a kid.

Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 10:51 pm  Comments (4)  

Another Try At Painting

Last year several of us got together on Sundays after church to paint.  It never really got going again after the summer until this month. 

I’ll have to ask Carolyn if I can post pictures of her latest paintings in progress.  She is so talented!  I’ve decided to move on from my attempts at painting football players.  Instead I’m trying baseball players.

My first effort is an acrylic painting of former New York Yankee Bobby Murcer.  It’s based on a photograph from a recent edition of Sports Illustrated.  Like the photo, the painting is black and white–the first attempt I’ve made at B&W.  I thought it’d be kind of cool to take pictures of it at different stages of development.

Here’s the original photo:

My basic sketch:

And here’s where the painting stands now.  Obviously the face needs a ton of work still.  At this point it’s a face, but definitely not Bobby Murcer’s!  I think I’m probably going to leave out the uniform pinstripes from the original photo.  Here’s what it currently looks like:

If I’m able to finish this one, it’ll be my first-ever completed painting!  It’s the closest I’ve gotten so far.  After we paint this Sunday I’ll post a picture of whatever progress (or regress!) I make.

By the way, last time I shared one of my paintings on here (my very first attempt, I might add), I got joned on by some of you in the comments.  You’re welcome to slam it, but let’s play fair: if you’re going to bust on my painting, I want to see some of yours!  And if you haven’t painted yet or are looking for people to paint with, everyone is welcome to join us at CrossWay on Sunday afternoons.  We usually start around 2:30 p.m.  Good times!

Published in: on January 28, 2009 at 5:03 am  Comments (2)  

Further Evidence That Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

Here’s the proof:

Published in: on January 15, 2009 at 5:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Interesting Article on Florida Quarterback Tim Tebow

Great article on Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.

Published in: on January 7, 2009 at 10:40 am  Comments (4)  

Big D

Tonight is the big game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Baltimore Ravens.  It’s an important game for both squads.  I like both teams, but of course I hope the Cowboys emerge victorious.

On Wednesday I was wearing my Tony Romo jersey and the kids at the preschool kept asking me why I was wearing a “football shirt.”  Naturally, this opened up numerous opportunities to indoctrinate them into the world of Dallas Cowboys fandom.

It backfired once, though.  I was explaining to one little guy who recently turned four that the Cowboys are the best team.  Knowing that his whole family are huge Ravens fans, I added, “In fact, the Cowboys are going to beat the Ravens this Saturday.”

“No they’re not,” he said as he shook his head.

“Why do you say that?”  I asked.

He answered, “Because the Ravens defense is too tough.”

It’s hard trying to argue with a four-year-old who knows what he’s talking about.

Published in: on December 20, 2008 at 2:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

And the Winner Is…

With all the bad press we read about professional athletes today, it’s refreshing to read something like this.

Published in: on October 25, 2008 at 9:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Glory of Their Times

Last year I was in Cooperstown, New York with my dad and two brothers.  My younger brother, Dylan, suggested I read The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence S. Ritter.  He said it was the best baseball book he’d ever read.

It took me awhile to get to it, but I finally finished reading it yesterday, and I must say that Dylan was right.

In researching The Glory of Their Times, Ritter traveled all over the country in the mid-1960s interviewing former major leaguers who’d played as long ago as the late 1800s.  The story that these men share in their own words is fascinating!  As a baseball fan I was captivated, but equally interesting was the fact that these are first-hand accounts of a historical era whose witnesses have all but died out.  One player, Smokey Joe Wood, even shares his recollection of growing up in a wild west town!

The players who tell their stories in The Glory in Their Times bear names that filled headlines 80 to 100 years ago, but would be unfamiliar to most people today–even though several of them are Hall of Famers, such as Edd Roush, Stan Coveleski, Goose Goslin, Rube Marquard, and Sam Crawford.  Even so, they tell story after story of names that are still known even by non-fans, names like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Ty Cobb.

If you have even a casual interest in baseball, history, or just biography in general, this book is definitely one I’d highly recommend.

Published in: on September 30, 2008 at 5:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Shorebirds & Zooperstars

Last weekend Carolyn and I went to a Shorebirds game.  It was the first time I’ve seen them lose this year.  It was a pitchers’ duel until the end of the game when the Shorebirds allowed runners to score from third on a passed ball–twice in a row.  But it was still fun.

Between innings we were entertained by “Zooperstars“–inflated animal characters with names similar to famous baseball personalities.  For instance, there was a large cow named Cow Ripken and a clam named Clammy Sosa.  But my favorite had to be Harry Canary, who sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh innning stretch.  Here he is (this one’s for you, Dad):

There were a couple little boys sitting behind us who were really funny.  They were having the best time, and they completely cracked up laughing at everything the Zooperstars did.  At one point one of the boys rolled up his game program, looked through it like a telescope, and announced to his friend: “Look, I made a stethoscope!”  That was even funnier than watching them boogie to the Chicken Dance.

Published in: on June 19, 2008 at 6:37 am  Comments (1)