Baseball Players on Steroids


Baseball and Steroids, Runs, Hits and Lots of Errors


The first thing a new season’s manager needs to tell the players is the difference between human growth hormones (HGH), bovine growth hormone (bGH) and no hormones – and it has nothing to do with utters. He needs to tell the players some side
effects of steroids are reversible but other effects are never changed in the minds of the public.

By taking steroids and bGH a player can inflate his statistics and his body.  I don’t mean to pick on Mark McGwire but to use him as an example In 1996 McGwire hit 50 home runs with 390 official times at bat – every 7.8 times he was at the plate. Babe Ruth did that eating candy bars and "light drink." When listening to McGwire’s infamous performance before House Government Reform Committee in March 2005 there were short pauses while viewers smothered their faces with laughter. McGwire didn’t hit 135 home runs in two years eating bonbons.

Originally the baseball was made so you couldn’t hit it easily, high, or far, so 60 home runs a season hitters are usually pituitary freaks. But we want our players to be made by nature not in the lab. Remember when baseball players were small? (For example: PeeWee Reese). Joe DIMaggio was only 6 feet 2 inches and weighed 193 pounds. Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? There is a generation out there that thinks DiMaggio invented the coffee maker.

Like Joe DiMaggio, baseball players are symbols – of what things were what things are and what things will be. I guess we, as fans, get what we deserve. I just prefer not to see a some great ballplayer pumped up on steroids riding in a convertible waving to a frenzied crowd.

Hall of Fame Chipper Jones Atlanta Braves Basebll Art

Chipper Jones Hall of Fame 

He is in! Chipper Jones MLB baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2018 Congratulations! Here’s my baseball painting of Chipper Jones art located in the Delta Sky Club in the new SunTrust Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. The sports art painting is 15 feet by 8 feet and purchased by the stadium in 2017.
For those who are not familiar with Chipper Jones he played third base and played his whole career with Atlanta Braves for 19 years.

 Chipper Jones Statistics 

Jones had a relatively easy time getting into baseball’s Hall of Fame as he got named on 97.2% of the ballots.  His statistics shows his record of eight-time All-Star and the 1999 National League MVP, Jones had a career batting average of .303 with 468 home runs.  Any baseball fan can see why Chipper was selected with numbers that show a combination batting average of over .300 average, .400 on-base %, 500 slugging % and 400 home runs.  Those number show why Chipper Jones crashed into the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first year of eligibility. 

Chipper Jones Quotes 


Here is a Chipper quote that sums up his statistics and how he played the game.  Jones said, "We can bunt guys over. But we're built on power. That's American baseball.”  But in contrast to that statement he also said that he felt his proudest accomplishments was  that he had more walks than strikeouts.  About his percentage numbers?  “I was always of the belief that if you go up there and you’re the toughest out possible every single time you walk up to the plate, the numbers are going to take care of themselves,’’ he said.  About entering the MLB Baseball Hall of Fame?  “This is day that’s going to change my life forever. We have a handful of those during our lifetime, transcendent moments that just change your life forever. Today was certainly one of them.’’

To follow my sports art work like my instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/anartistlife/

LA Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax Baseball Art Painting


LA Dodgers Pitcher

 Wouldn’t it be nice to have some 100 mph fastballs.  Let’s have a cannon up there firing  away.  LA Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax was like having a clipper ship with guns mounted on the side blazing cannonballs at the opposing ships.  When Koufax threw a fastball it lit up the crowd in the stadium.  It was like Pirates of the Caribbean setting a ship on fire.  All hands cheer.

 Sandy Koufax

 Sandy Koufax is considered one of the greatest pitchers ever to play the game.  His nickname was "The Left Arm of God"  or “Cannonball Koufax.”  He played his entire career with the Brooklyn/LA Dodgers retiring in 1966 because of arthritis in his left elbow at age 30.  As it has been said, “the barrel of his cannon got too hot.”    Sandy was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1972 - the youngest ever inducted at the time at 36 years old.

Here is my version of a story about Koufax that I found on Wired "Cruel Curveball Science; Nasty Koufax" BY DAVID DOBBS

 Sandy Koufax verses Mickey Mantle

 Koufax had to face Mickey Mantel of the New York Yankees in the first game of the 1963 World Series, Dodgers verses Yankees — Koufax faces Mantle three times.  Mantles first at-bat Koufax strikes out Mantle firing off the the cannons – ripping him apart with his fastballs.

Second time at bat Mantle has two strikes against him.  The card on Mantle is,…do not throw him a curve ball.  Don’t.   Do not do it.  It’s like throwing gold coins at Captain Jack.  He’s going to get ‘em. No curveball.  The catcher signs Koufax for the fastball.  Koufax shakes him off.  The catcher pulls out his Navy semaphores and starts madly waving signals, again for the fastball.  Twice he signals him.  Sandy shakes them off.  Catcher figures it out and flags for the curveball.  Okay, he gets it.  Sandy wants to throw the no-no pitch to Mantle.  Sandy is going to hook him.

What was Koufax’s curveball like?  Some consider his hooker the best curveball ever thrown. It came in high at the chin and tacked across home plate from top to bottom like a ship running the trade winds into the Antarctic. The pitch dropped like an anchor to Mantle’s knees.  Mantle just stares at it.  Doesn’t even blink.  All he feels is the wind. 

Umpire:  “Strike three.”

Mantle glares around at the umpire.  “How the fuck is anybody supposed to hit that shit?” And walks back to the dugout."  (quote attributed to David Dobbs)

 About the Sandy Koufax Painting

 The baseball art of Sandy Koufax painting by sports artist John Robertson is painted with acrylic inks on drafting film.  The overall size is 11" x 14"

To follow my sports art work like my instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/anartistlife/

Atlanta Braves Baseball Art David Justice SunTrust Park Stadium Painting

Artwork for SunTrust Park Stadium Atlanta Braves

The painting you see is one of three large-scale pieces of art that I created for the Atlanta Braves new SunTrusk Park baseball stadium in AtlantaGa.  It is of  David Justice a former outfielder and designated hitter in Major League Baseball who played for the Atlanta Braves (1989–1996).


I created three pieces this size and will see other post of the other paintings on this blog.  Although I have created sports art for a number of other stadiums the three MLB baseball pieces I painted of Atlanta Braves players are the largest.   The other two pieces are of Chipper Jones and the other is of Dale Murphy.  All three of the pieces are on display in the Delta Sky Club area of the SunTrust Park stadium.

 About David Justice

 Justice was a three-time MLB All-Star who played right field and hit over 300 home runs in his 14-year career.  He was also on a winning World Series with the Atlanta Braves in 1995.  And here is a little bit of Trivia.  He was married to actress Halle Berry from 1992 to 1996.  By the way , if you are interested in following David Justice here is his twitter @23davidjustice

I am always curious about some of the things athletes say.  Here is an odd one attributed to David Justice.  “I mulled over what he had told me as I savored the Scotch. Not bad, really — like a beer that’s been in a brawl.”   The real question about this quote is who was David Justice drinking Scotch with that  made that statement to him.  I have no idea.

 About the Painting

 The painting of David Justice by sports artist John Robertson is 8 feet by 15 feet, acrylic on canvas.


Jackie Robinson brooklyn Dodgers sports art painting

A

bout the Jackie Robinson Painting

 For those of you who follow John Robertson sports art either on Facebook, Instagram or all the other places work is posted you know that I have painted Jackie Robinson of the famed Brooklyn Dodgers a few times.  This time I did something a little bit unique.  The painting is 12" x 16" ink and acrylic
on old Sporting News magazines from the 1980's attached to canvas boards.  Two coats of a finish protects the surface.  In the background is N.L Box scores, where they play, pitching leaders, and a variety of other information.

Obviously Jackie Robinson was and is an inspiration to a lot of people.  Here is one of my favorite quotes from him.  "Life is not a spectator sport. If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you're wasting your life."   Particularly in this day and age of the technology we tend to be watching small screens and not participating in life.  We are watching others and following what others may be doing and living vicariously through them. 

 Top ten things Jackie Robinson may have said about baseball

 (maybe he didn’t say all of these but he probably thought them. )

1. Anyone can win a game unless there is another team playing.
2. The biggest sin in baseball is being thrown out at home plate.
3. Make good plays - good enough to make the opposing team manager kick the water cooler.
4. I like a sport where stealing is not illegal
5. There is no sweeter word for a runner than "Safe"
5. The first thing a team physician checks on an injured catcher is for footprints.
7. It is better to steal than never.
8. Always run bases counter-clockwise.
9. Chewing bubble gum – don’t blow bubbles while wearing a catcher’s mask.
10. Chewing tobacco – spit, don’t swallow

Baseball art Painting of Catcher Ramon Hernandez


Ramon Hernandez Portraint painting 
by sports artist John Robertson
50" x 70" acrylic on unstretched canvas

A Catcher is a Backstop With a Good Arm

Catcher Ramon Hernandez MLB Teams

I painted Ramon Hernandez, an excellent catcher (and could play first base) because he was such a great workhorse for any team he played for – and he did play for a number of them.  Ramon with the Oakland Athletics (1999–2003), San Diego Padres (2004–2005), Baltimore Orioles (2006–2008), Cincinnati Reds (2009–2011), Colorado Rockies (2012) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2013.  He moved around a lot but was always a great contributor to whichever team he played for.  He has an interesting position to play.

 About Catchers 

Here’s a funny story about Joe Torre who, among a number of great achievements was a great catcher.  He was once asked why he became a catcher.  “When I was 16 years old, my brother Frank said, 'You'd better become a catcher, because you're too big and fat to do anything else.' Well, I took his advice. It was a quick way to get to the big leagues, and I've never regretted it.”  Now Hernandez never made the choice because he was six feet tall and weighed in at around one ninety.  That’s not big and fat.  Also he was a good hitter with a two-sixty-three hitting average over his long career. 

Ramon Hernandez, like most catchers was the defensive leader on the field. He called the pitches and positioned players on the field and had a pragmatic view of baseball. The great pitcher Bob Feller said, "If you believe your catcher is intelligent and you know that he has considerable experience, it is a good thing to leave the game almost entirely in his hands."


Ramon had psychological insights and had a list of behaviors for each player approaching the batting box. His eyes were continuing to move across the field of play and his mind running the different offensive scenarios in his head. All of this going on with a baseball bat menacingly inches from his head.  That is what good catchers did.

Atlanta Braves Baseball Art Dale Murphy SunTrust Park Stadium Painting

Atlanta Braves Baseball Art

The painting you see above is Atlanta Braves art from their new SunTrust baseball stadium in Atlanta, Ga.  The painting of Dale Murphy is 8 feet by 15 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.  I created three pieces this size and will see other post of the other paintings on this blog.  Although I have created sports

Painting art of Atlanta Brave outfielder Dale Murphy making a leaping  catch againg the outfield wall
art for a number of other stadiums the three MLB baseball pieces I painted of Atlanta Braves players are the largest.   The other two pieces are of Chipper Jones and the other is of David Justice.  All three of the pieces are on display in the Delta Sky Club area of the SunTrust Park stadium.

About Dale Murphy

  For all of the Atlanta Braves fans I am sure you know a lot about Dale Murphy as he is one of their best players ever.  For a complete history of him the best thing to do is to visit his own Dale Murphy web site that has more facts than you will ever want to know.

For those of you that just want a  little information here is a few basics (from his website)  Dale Murphy was chosen by the Atlanta Braves in the first round of the 1974 Major League Draft. Over the next few years, he worked his way through the Braves minor league system and made his major league debut in 1976.

Although he began his career as a catcher, he spent a short time at first base and finally ended up in the outfield where he became the youngest player in history to win back-to-back MVP awards (1982 and 1983), was named to the National League All-Star team seven times, earned four Silver Slugger awards and five Gold Gloves. 

Dale Murphy Quotes

  What always interests me is what either the actual player has said or what others have said about him.  In the case of Dale Murphy he Sid something very basic about being an athlete and nothing particularly profound but true: “I miss baseball.”   Most people can relate to that after they retire.  His wife certainly has as it has been reported that after he retired he became her full-time job.  Yes, she “missed” baseball too.  And one of my favorite quotes is when Dale Murphy said, “Whether I am hitting .100 or .300 I am resolved to, at least, enjoy every game.”  That has meaning far beyond baseball. Try to find out what you like to do, then do it even if you have no real success at it. No matter how it may be measured, we need to enjoy what we do

Atlanta Braves art SunTrust Park Stadium Chipper Jones

Atlanta Braves Art


The painting you see above is Atlanta Braves art from their new SunTrust baseball stadium in Atlanta, Ga.  The painting of Chipper Jones is 8 feet by 15 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.  I created three pieces this size and will post them as I gather the photos.  Although I have created SunTrust Park stadium.
Painting art of MLB Atlanta Braves Chipper Jones at bat with the catcher and upire standing behind him at home plate
sports art for a number of other stadiums the three MLB baseball pieces I painted of Atlanta Braves players are the largest.   The other two pieces are of Dale Murphy and the other is of David Justice.  All three of the pieces are on display in the Delta Sky Club area of the

How the Project Develops

Like all the other stadium projects I have worked on it takes about a year from start to finish.  First there is the original call asking me if I am interested in creating paintings (in this case) for the Atlanta Braves new stadium.  Then the process begins with determining what is to be painted, what sizes and what medium to be used.  This is all determined by the consultants and the teams deciding where the paintings will eventually hang in the stadium.  Once that is decided then sketches are drawn and they go through a process of approval, from design aspects to color choices.  Images are chosen from their archives of photographs and at some point I will then create the paintings.  Again, they are evaluated and changes are invariably made.  I may have painted the wrong era of uniform on a player, or the stripes on the uniform or the lettering may be incorrect.  One of the biggest challenges is getting the life-size figure to look like it is in action.  An athlete has to look like they are athletic. 


Eventually all is settled and the paintings are shipped off to be framed and then delivered to the stadium for installation.  From my perspective the stadium does not take on a life until the art from all the artist’s is hung.  The art adds a personality an warmth and life to the bare stadium that makes it inviting to the patrons of the sport.

Sports Baseball Catcher MLB

Baseball Catcher

 It was once said about baseball catchers that they are like a backstop with a good arm.   But it is not always recognized early on in a player's career.  A good example of that is Johnny Bench.  Johnny Bench was one of the great catchers of all time but it is interesting to note that he did not start out in that position.  Here's what he said about playing baseball as a youth. 
"I played American Legion ball starting when I was 14. But I didn't catch until I was 17. I was 75-3 as a high school pitcher, but it was like everybody knew that I was supposed to be a catcher. When the scouts would come around, and I was pitching, they'd make me take infield practice so the scouts could watch me throw."

Catchers are the defensive leader on the field. They position players on the field, call the pitches and can and have a pragmatic view of baseball. One of the best pitcher ever, Bob Feller said, "If you believe your catcher is intelligent and you know that he has considerable experience, it is a good thing to leave the game almost entirely in his hands." A good catcher will have psychological insight and have a list of behaviors for each player approaching the batting box. His eyes are continuing to move across the field of play and his mind running the different offensive scenarios in his head. All of this going on with a baseball bat menacingly inches from his head.

About the Painting



Baseball, painting art Catcher and Base runner painting by sports artist John Robertson.  Baseball art player image is approximately 8" by 10" on a oil on a 11' x 14" piece of drafting film.

New York Yankees Derek Jeter

Couple of Derek Jeter Quotes


Some of what Derek Jeter says can be directly applied to being an artist.  .  For example Jeter said, " There may be people who have more talent than you, but there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do - and I believe that." 
I am a perfect example of that thought.  Although there are a lot of great artists out there - a lot of them do not make a living as a painter.  I am fortunate - and lucky - and I work very hard at what I do.  I am in my studio every day painting or finding a way to sell a painting. 

Of course, the problem with that work ethic is that I tend to forget to feed the cat, or water the flowers, or make the bed in the morning.  Now, that was okay when I wasn't married.  I mean, who cares?  Nobody was coming into my studio to check and see if the bed was made.  And the cat could find it's own food - and the flowers?  What flowers?  They were dead long ago.  But now that I am married things have changed.  I will make the bed and sometimes even change the sheets.  As Derek Jeter says, " I have feelings. I'm not emotionally stunted."  But as my wife says,  "Who would know?  You're in the studio all day painting and thinking about yourself."

A little About Derek Jeter


Derek says it again. " I don't really see myself getting a Twitter account..."  You want me out there emoting?  When Derek Jeter was playing do you think he had time for expressing his feelings?  No.  He was busy.  Hw was born on June 26, 1974, in Pequannock, New Jersey and grew up playing baseball.  He enrolled at the University of Michigan, but his time on campus was brief as he rapidly ascended the ranks of the Yankees' farm system. After batting .344 with 50 stolen bases in 1994, he was selected as "Minor League Player of the Year" by several publications, including The Sporting News and Baseball America.

  He was drafted by the Yankees in 1992. During 1996, his first full season in the majors, his performance helped the Yankees win the World Series against the Braves. Since then, he's seen four more Yankees World Series wins in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009. Jeter is the all-time Yankees hit leader and was named team captain in 2003. When he officially retired in 2014, he ranked sixth in MLB history with 3,465 hits."  Thank you for the information from http://www.biography.com/people/derek-jeter-189311


And when it was all over Jeter could start living a normal life, one away from the "bright lights, city lights"   He told NBC that starting a family and raising kids was one of his reasons for retiring from baseball. "I want to have a family," Jeter said. "Who knows when it's gonna' be? But I look forward to it."