LA Dodgers painting Sports Art

LA Dodgers

 Well, I guess us LA Dodgers fans can give a sigh or relief as they did finally win a game that puts them into the playoffs.  I know, I know, at this point in writing and showing the Dodgers art they are in a wild card position - and that is better than nothing.  And considering the Dodgers, at one recent point was considered one of the best teams in baseball, there is some satisfaction in knowing there are a lot of teams, 20 of them, would be thrilled get this far.  Let us hope they start playing to their ability.

The Los Angeles Dodgers expect to win their fifth consecutive division championship and a birth in the World Series.  Good luck.  The way they have been playing for more than the last three weeks it will be a challenge for them to get back on track.  They are in the post-season play and in a few days, hopefully in the next few, they win the National League West championship.  And if they can achieve the best record in baseball this year, (that is still a question) they will have the home field advantage if they make it to the World Series.

 About the LA Dodgers painting

 In the meantime here is a piece of art celebrating the Los Angeles Dodgers – a player sliding into home plate with a Yankee catcher tagging him out.  Like the Dodgers the Yankees hold a wild-card position with the Indians up a couple of games.  The LA Dodgers painting by sports artist John Robertson is ink and acrylic on a variety of maps of Los Angeles.  The painting is 5 feet by 6 feet.

America's Game of Basebal - Art

Why Baseball is The Game 

 As the great player and Hall of Fame manager, Earl Weaver said, “You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the damn plate and five the other man his chance. That's why baseball is the greatest game of them all. “

 America’s Game

 The Game” Baseball.  America’s great pastime.  The game most boys and some girls have played at some time in their lives.  It’s called America’s game because it was one of the first sports played seriously in the United State starting 1845.  I played in Little League and then in the Pony League.  After that, not much.  High school grades (bad ones) prevented me from playing in high school and there was no college in my future.

As long as I could play the game of baseball I felt I was still a kid, I forgot everything when I was playing.  The assaults of the world started on me early.  A bad day of playing the game was always better than any other day I had.  I didn’t have to worry about school, or my parents or friends.  All I thought about was hitting the ball and at other times catching the ball with waiting in-between.  And the waiting never bothered me.  I was lost in the dream of playing.  Even when there was no organized game to play, we played out in the streets, home plate a hub cap off a car and bases were curbs and lines in the street.  We’d play until dark and only quit because we could not see the baseball anymore.  And only occasionally did one of us get hit by a car – usually a light tap.

Walt Whitman on America's Pastime

 One of the great American poets, Walt Whitman lived at the time of the founding of baseball  1819 - 1892. He saw the beginning and the development of the game.  Horace L. Traubel who wrote about Whitman in ,Walt Whitman in Camden,” vol. 2 (stated by Whitman in September 1888): “Whitman spoke more about in glowing terms: Baseball is the hurrah game of the republic! That's beautiful: the hurrah game! well—it's our game: that's the chief fact in connection with it: America's game: has the snap, go, fling, of the American atmosphere—belongs as much to our institutions, fits into them as significantly, as our constitutions, laws: is just as important in the sum total of our historic life.

Sports Painting. About the Baseball Art

 “The Game” painting by sports artist John Robertson is an image of the batter, catcher and umpire that is almost life-size.  The size of the art piece is 6 feet by 10 feet, ink and acrylic on unstretched canvas.

LA Dodgers Baseball Image Sports art Andre Ethier right fielder

Baseball Art LA Dodgers  

The baseball painting - LA Dodgers art of Andre Ethier playing right field is by sports artist John Robertson.  It is painted on a 30” by 40” gallery wrapped canvas with maps of Los Angeles applied to the surface.  The image is created with ink and acrylic paint.

 Andre Ethier Right Fielder

 As of this writing Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers is hanging out at the Rancho Cucamonga location and hoping to start up from his disabled and is also expected to be in the Quakes lineup for what will be his first rehab game. He is not expected to be activated from the 60-day DL until Friday, Sept. 1. In the last couple of seasons Ethier has been out because of an injury suffered in Spring Training.  He has had a lot of problems from a herniated disk, with pain and discomfort in his lower back. 

After Ethier had a leg injury in 2016, and sitting out almost all of the season with the LA Dodgerds he started off the 2017 season with this back problem.  What is interesting to know about his playing time with the Dodgers is that he has only been in sixteen games since 2015. Who knows how much work he will get once he is hopefully back after the beginning of September.  

Sports painting of baseball great Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees Portrait

Baseball Art: Joe DiMaggio Painting Portrait

Baseball painting portrait of Joe DiMaggio  is 50" x 70" acrylic on unstretched canvas by sports artist John Robertson

As a boy and like so many others I thought Joe DiMaggio was the baseball player to follow and worship.  We did not have a major league team in Los Angeles at the time so the Yankees were the team we followed.  (What? No TV?  Nope.  Not then. This was 1948-1951) Joe was nicknamed "Joltin' Joe" and "The Yankee Clipper" and was what we all wanted to grow up to be - American Major League Baseball center fielder for the Yankees.  Dreams.  Boyhood dreams.

Kevin Costner about Joe DiMaggio

Even adults thought that Joe DiMaggio was something special.  Kevin Costner, who made that great baseball movie, “Field of Dreams” said about Joe DiMaggio, “There are certain people’s names that are reminders of what men can be like. To this day, when I hear the name Joe DiMaggio, it is so much more than a man’s name. It reminds me to play whatever game I’m in with more grace and pride and dignity…He is a man who speaks to us about how to walk through life and how to receive the admiration only the famous can know…and about how to wear defeat and disappointment as if it were just a passing storm. Men like Joe DiMaggio are not just of their own time. They are men for the ages.”

I remember in 1952 collecting Topps Baseball Cards – buying packs and packs of gum to get that Topps, Joe DiMaggio 1952 card. So I gathered about one-hundred-and-seventy-five cards before discovering that he retired before the production of the 1952 cards were printed. (I still have the 1952 Topps cards I collected as a boy.  And no they are not in good condition.  Who knew then.  I glued the cards into a paper scrapbook so on the back of the cards there are these great hunks of Elmer’s Rubber Cement and bits of paper attached to the cards.)

For me this is where Joe DiMaggio went

I continued to follow the Yankees until the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles for the 1958 season and my allegiance changed.  But, to me, baseball was never the same with DiMaggio gone from the game.  I really didn’t have much thought about DiMaggio being gone or what it might have meant to me until 1967.  The was the year one of my favorite movies came out, “The Graduate”  a coming of age movie about a college graduate entwined in the process of adulthood, the loss of innocence, manhood, etc.  And in the movie soundtrack is one of the great Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel songs, “Mrs Robinson.”  The classic lines in the lyrics:

”Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you, wo wo wo
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson
‘Joltin Joe’ has left and gone away, hey hey hey
Hey hey hey”

At that time I kicked and fought not to be an adult.  I had dropped out of high school - did my stint in the Navy,  tried college a number of times  and struggled to find direction.  Somehow the movie helped.  I was not alone but “Joltin Joe’ (had) left and gone away.”

Joe" DiMaggio November 25, 1914 – March 8, 1999) played his entire 13-year career for the New York Yankees. He is perhaps best known for his 56-game hitting streak (May 15 – July 16, 1941), a record that still stands.  DiMaggio was a three-time MVP winner and an All-Star in each of his 13 seasons. During his tenure with the Yankees, the club won ten American League pennants and nine World Series championships.  At the time of his retirement, he ranked fifth in career home runs (361) and sixth in career slugging percentage (.579). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955, and was voted the sport's greatest living player in a poll taken during the baseball centennial year of 1969.  ---- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quotes about Joe DiMaggio

This is what a couple of other great baseball players said of Joe DiMaggio:

(Joe) DiMaggio was the greatest all-around player I ever saw. His career cannot be summed up in numbers and awards. It might sound corny, but he had a profound and lasting impact on the country." - Ted Williams


"Heroes are people who are all good with no bad in them. That's the way I always saw Joe DiMaggio. He was beyond question one of the greatest players of the century." - Mickey Mantle

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.

Jackie Robinson Baseball Sports Art Painting


Jackie Robinson baseball sports art painting by artist John Robertson is 50" x 70" acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Jackie Robinson quote:

"Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he's losing; nobody wants you to quit when you're ahead". ~Jackie Robinson

Importance of Jackie Robinson


How good was Jackie Robinson as a major league player.  Well,  MLB has a special day every year when they celebrate his achievements – April 15 (of course that is tax day also but they chose that day because it was April 15, 1947 when he played his first game in the majors at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York. And why do  they celebrate him?  Because he was the first African American Major League Baseball (MLB) player of the modern era.  He broke down the racial segregation barrier which had, in the past, relegated African-Americans to the Negro leagues for six decades.

Other Accomplishments


 He won Rookie of the Year in 1947 with a batting average of .297, 175 hits, 12 home runs, and 48 runs batted in.  In ten seasons he played in six World Series and contributed to the Dodgers' 1955 World Championship. He was selected for six consecutive All-Star Games from 1949 to 1954, was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949 – the first black player so honored. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 and he was the first African American inducted at the Cooperstown Hall of Fame and Museum In 1997, Major League Baseball retired his uniform number, 42, across all major league teams.

A few interesting facts


Robinson died of a heart attack on October 24, 1972 in Stamford, Connecticut, at age 53.  He played himself in The Jackie Robinson Story, a biopic about his life released in 1950. When April 15, 2004, became Jackie Robinson Day all uniformed players in Major League Baseball were required to wear number 42 on their jerseys to honor Robinson’s memory and legacy to the sport

Baseball umpire sports art

Bad Umpire Painting


Now, I know that this is a really bad drawing in ink of an umpire - but what do you expect - me to draw or paint the perfect painting each time.  Do you r really expect a baseball player to hit one thousand?  Do you expect an umpire to make the correct call every time he has to make one?  Well, I
can't paint or draw the great art piece each time I go to the studio - and this is proof of that position.  Think of the great baseball player who hits 300.  That means he fails seven out of ten times.  How is that great?  He fails three out of ten times.

Umpire Heckles  


 How many bad calls does an ump make?  It depends if you are on the winning side of the calls or the losing side. These are some of the comments players and manager had said when getting a bad call:  "You're killing me, blue. Can I pet your seeing eye dog after the game?  It sure sounded like a strike!  How'd you get a square head in that round mask?  Did they stopped printing the rulebook in Braille?  Don't donate your eyes to science, they don't want em'.   Does your wife let you make decisions at home? Pull the good eye out of your pocket. I thought only horses slept standing up! Flip over the plate and read the directions."

Artist heckles


What if you're an artist and the client starts heckling you.  "  That's not green.  Lenscrafter called...your glasses will be ready in 30 minutes.  Flip the canvas over and start again on the other side.  Are you painting in Braille?  Is this going to get any better or is this it?"

All sports need an umpire or referee. And what is important is that they have integrity , and just as import is good eyesight. And even if they do have good judgment it seems that another part of baseball is for the fans and players booing and abusing the umpires – It is part of the game.  So don't think that a machine can replace them.  Because the same thing would happen if you used a machine.  When a call is ruled against the player, instead of using words he is going to take his bat to the machine and blast it down third.

Artist John Robertson Baseball painting of an Umpire
5 feet by 2 ½ feet acrylic on unstretched canvas

(painting is a detail from larger painting 5 feet by 8 feet)

Baseball slide rule change image

New Baseball Slide Rule

 Under the new baseball slide rule into second, "both baseball players have to wear a dress."  At least, that is what one of the Major League baseball managers was quoted as saying.  His point being that the MLB was taking all of the "sport" out baseball.   If the baseball player can't go into second base
with "spikes up and wide" in an attempt to break up the double play, then where is the excitement and risk of the game?  One of the new rules state: "A runner sliding into second has to make "a bona fide attempt" not just to slide into the base, but also to "remain on the base."   In other words,  "no interference".  In the case of this baseball painting the base runner is trying to interfere with the shortstop.

 Keep Baseball Entertaining

 It seems to me, part of the reason to slide into second base, during the possibility of a double play, is to interfere with the play.   Another way to break up the double play is to run the base path so the baseman can't throw straight to first base.  So, instead of taking the danger of the play out with the baseball slide rule they should put a rule in to make it a greater risk for the base runner to run the bases.  And that would be that the base runner has to run the bases in a straight line between the bases.  But, with the new rule, the  baseman may throw the ball at the base runner, but the base runner is not allowed to duck.  That kind of evens out the whole "fairness" of a need for a slide rule.  Let's make sure both basemen and base runners are, "at risk"  and keep the game as entertaining as ever.  Maybe, even more entertaining.

If the League thinks it is protecting baseball players, it is eliminating not the most dangerous aspects of the game.  The most dangerous?  - getting hit by a pitch.  The next change is coming:  protect the batter by putting him into a batting cage. 

Sports Art Baseball Painting by artist John Robertson is 11" x 14", ink and acrylic on drafting film. Available.  

Baseball painting Jim Bouton pitcher MLB Atlanta Braves

Sports Artist John Robertson's painting of Jim Bouton Pitcher
for the Atlanta Braves.  Painting is 5 feet by 8 feet,
Acrylic on unstretched canvas.
Jim Bouton was a pitcher in the major leagues for a number of years playing for the New York Yankees, Seattle Pilots, Houston Astros and ended his career with the Atlanta Braves.  The longer he played in the Major Leagues he was able to extend his playing days developing the knuckleball.  As you see in the painting he is demonstrating how the knuckleball is held in the hand for throwing a pitch.

One of things he is best known for is his memoir of his playing years with the New York Yankees, Seattle Pilots and the Houston Astros.  He had played in the 1962 World Series and was in the 1963 MLB All-Star game.


The book "Ball Four" broke baseball's code of silence where the athletes did not speak about what went on in the background of baseball.   One of Bouton's important line in the book: "You spend your life gripping a baseball," Jim Bouton wrote, "and it turns out that it was the other way around all along."

Baseball Painting of Boy Swinging a Bat Baseball Art

When Claudia posted this shot on my Facebook pagethis is what she said about it. "This is my youngest child this past summer (6 years old) playing in one of his All Star baseball games. Lucas hit an over the fence grand slam home run to help his team make it to the World Series. The boys had an amazing time playing their little hearts out."

As you can see from the photos Lucus really has practiced his swing and follow through.  It looks like he has great ability to hit the ball.  I can just imagine him copying the way his favorite baseball player may approach the plate.  He adjusts his helmet.  Maybe he kicks the dirt out of his cleats and digs a little ditch for his rear foot to get some leverage.  I'd say Lucus knows what he is doing.


What I have been doing is painting from photos of those who post images of their children, friends, and family on my Facebook page.  It has been a challenge to paint the images because they are not always the clearest of shots.  As I always say, "If I can't see it I can't paint it.

Baseball paintings Willie Mays New York and San Francisco Giants image

Painting of Willie Mays is 5 feet by 8 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.  To see what is available for sale please click on link in the navigation bar at the top of the page.

This is about the sixth time I have painted a large scale painting of the great center fielder, Willie Mays, nicknamed The Say Hey Kid"  who played for the old New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants.  He finished his baseball career with the NY Mets.  The first I painted Willie was for Fox Sports, a number of years ago.  Willie Mays was interviewed by Derek Jeter and  Ken Griffey Jr. during the 2007 Major League Baseball All Star Game for Fox Sports.  If you watch the Willie Mays video on YouTube  or see it below,  you will see three large-scale paintings behind the three great baseball players  in the interview.  The two portraits in the interview are 5 feet by 6 feet and the famous Willie Mays "Catch"  was approximately 3 1/2 feet by 8 feet.   Like the paintings you see above, they were all painted with acrylic and on unstretched canvas.


The famous catch Willie Mays made refers to a great catch he made during game 1 of the 1954 World Series between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians at the Polo Grounds in New York.  It was September 29, 1954.  score was tied 2–2 in the top of the 8th inning. Vic Wertz was at bat.  The count to two balls and one strike,  Wertz hits a ball approximately 420 feet to deep center field. Willie Mays, who was playing in shallow center field, made an on-the-run, over-the-shoulder catch on the warning track to make the out. Having caught the ball, he immediately spun and threw the ball to hold a runner, who was at second, from scoring.  If Willie had not made "The Catch"  the two base runners would have been able to score and the game would have been at 4 to 2 in favor of the Indians.  The play saved the game and the New York Giants went on to win the game and eventually the World Series in four straight games.   

Willie said of the catch, "People talk about that catch and, I've said this many times, that I've made better catches than that many times in regular season. But of course in my time, you didn't have a lot of television during the regular season. A lot of people didn't see me do a lot of things."

Some of the more interesting facts about Willie is Mays is that he won two MVP awards and shares the record of most All-Star Games played (24) with Hank Aaron & Stan Musial.   Ted Williams said, "They invented the All-Star Game for Willie Mays." Mays ended his career with 660 home runs, third at the time of his retirement, and currently fourth all-time. He was a center fielder and won a record-tying 12 Gold Gloves starting the year the award was introduced six seasons into his career.  In 1979 Willie Mays was inducted into MLB Hall of Fame on the first vote

Baseball painting of Pittsburgh Pirates Shortstop Honus Wagner's Hands photo

Painting of MLB Baseball player Honus Wagner's hands who was a Shortstop Pittsburgh Pirates.  Art is approximately 54” by 68” acrylic on unstretched canvas.
The Pittsburgh Pirates' Honus Wagner, a dead-ball era baseball player who is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time.  Most people know him as having the most valuable baseball card.  The reason it is so valuable is because it was recalled in 1909 and all were destroyed except for a few that got into circulation.

Here is an interesting story about the baseball card from Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia.  The most famous T206 Honus Wagner is the "Gretzky T206 Honus Wagner" card. The card's odd texture and shape led to speculation that it was altered. The Gretzky T206 Wagner was first sold by Alan Ray to a baseball memorabilia collector named Bill Mastro, who sold the card two years later to Jim Copeland for nearly four times the price he had originally paid. Copeland's sizable transaction revitalized interest in the sports memorabilia collection market. In 1991, Copeland sold the card to ice hockey figures Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall for $451,000. Gretzky resold the card four years later to Wal-Mart and Treat Entertainment for $500,000, for use as the top prize in a promotional contest.

The next year, a Florida postal worker won the card and auctioned it at Christie's for $640,000 to collector Michael Gidwitz. In 2000, the card was sold via Robert Edward Auctions to card collector Brian Seigel for $1.27 million. In February 2007, Seigel sold the card privately to an anonymous collector for $2.35 million. Less than six months later, the card was sold to another anonymous collector for $2.8 million. In April 2011, that anonymous purchaser was revealed to be Ken Kendrick, owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks.[3] These transactions have made the Wagner card the most valuable baseball card in history.

In October 2013, Bill Mastro pleaded guilty to mail fraud in U.S District Court — and admitted in the process that he had trimmed the Wagner card to sharply increase its value.

close-up photo of Horus Wagner's hand on the bat
Honus Wagner was an eight time National League batting champion, with a lifetime batting average of .328. He also led the league five times in stolen bases, five times in RBIs, eight times in doubles and three times in triples. He played nearly 2,800 games during his career, with 3,430 hits, 651 doubles, 252 triples and 722 stolen bases. Along with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson. If you want all his stats here is the link to MLB site on Honus Wagner

 Honus Wagner’s Hall of Fame Induction Speech June 12, 1939.  Cooperstown, NY.    “Ladies and gentlemen, I was born 1874, and this organization was started was 1876. When I was just a kid I said, “ I hope some day I’ll be up there playing in this league.” And by chance I did. Now Connie Mack the gentleman that preceeded me here at the mike, I remember walking fourteen miles just to see him play ball for Pittsburgh. (crowd laughs) Walking and running, or hitchhiking a ride on a buggy, them days we had no automobile. I certainly am pleased to be here in Cooperstown today, and this is just a wonderful little city, or town, or village or whaever we’d call it. It puts me in mind of Sleepy Hollow. (crowd laughs) However I want to thank you for being able to come here today.”  Honus Wagner was one of the first five inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.


Baseball painting Andre Ethier MLB outfielder for Los Angeles Dodgers art

 The baseball painting is of Los Angeles Dodger outfielder, Andre Ethier sliding into home plate as the catcher tries to protect the plate and tag Either out.   32” x 39”  ink and acrylic on newsprint (Old Sporting News, magazines, books, etc) about the MLB and image of LA Dodgers.  Newsprint attached to 1” stretched canvas.  To view paintings for sale please visit: John Robertson Sports Paintings for sale.

Andre Ethier is a MLB left-handed outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He’s a he’s a 2-time All-Star with a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove in his history.   Andre does have an interesting ritual before every game—ever since he was in the minors—he eats a peanut butter and honey sandwich on wheat bread and two spoonfuls of tuna.  One of the interesting things Ethier has said about himself is, “I wasn't an all-American, and I wasn't drafted until the second round. I wasn't that guy everybody said to watch out for the next couple of years because I was going to make a big impact. I guess that lights a little fire under you and makes you want to show what you can do.”

Ethier has played his whole major league baseball with the LA Dodgers.  He did start in the Oakland farm system but he’s never did play in the Major League with Oakland and started with the Dodgers in 2006. 

There is something valuable in a player that has only played for one team. They seem more real, not a rent-a-player, moving from one team to another.  They care more about their own team.  In his eight years with the Dodgers he has seen the good, the bad and the ugly – the success in October and the failures that can start in the July’s - and the seasons with the injuries.  

Because he has been able to perform under pressure he was given the nickname “Captain Clutch”.  In one season he had six walk-off hits which included four walk-off home runs that tied the Major League record for most in a season.  When asked about it in a Sporting News interview he said, “It’s one of those funny things. People understand that I’m pretty intense when I go up there, pretty focused and locked in; I can have that tight, whiteknuckled- grip look to me. I wasn’t that good in those situations early in my career; I was awful in those big, game-changing at-bats. I think I established that you can learn to become good at that but it takes a certain easiness and calmness to do it. There’s nothing better than having a feeling going up there: I want to be in that situation; I can’t wait to get that at-bat. Then you hit the ball and you look as you run around the bases—you just ended a game like that with one swing. It’s a great feeling. You’ve got to want to be in that situation because a lot of times you’re going to fail. But it’s what you look for. If anything, I’ve shown that I’m able to handle that situation and come through.”  A couple of his accomplishments:  He broke the Dodger record for most consecutive at-bats with a hit. He’s the only Dodger to have more than 30 doubles in six consecutive seasons.

As Don Mattingly, manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers said, “It’s like you’d rather have Andre up with the game on the line in the ninth…”   Mattingly continued, “That’s kind of the thinking there. You save for the biggest at-bat in the ninth.”  This gives the Los Angeles Dodger fans those great “Captain Clutch” late-inning heroics. 

There has been some question about Ethier batting against left-handers.  In a GQ article Andre addressed a the question asked by Nathaniel Penn :  “Against right-handed pitchers, your numbers are spectacular. Against left-handed pitchers, you've struggled throughout your career. This spring your manager, Don Mattingly, had to defend you and affirm that he's not going to platoon you this season—i.e., bench you when the Dodgers are facing a left-handed starting pitcher. At this point in your career, how do you go about improving your ability to hit lefties?

[This area] is one where I think more than anything this spring we—I mean me and [Dodgers hitting coach] Mark McGwire—have been working really hard. Nothing mechanical, just more the mental side: visualizing and making ourselves better and really figuring out a way to just be confident in all situations.

Sometimes as a baseball player or just an athlete in general you stick to the things you do well and you keep practicing those things. Those areas where you have issues you try to fix 'em but at the same time you try to limit your exposure to those. But in baseball you gotta go up there and face everyone in every situation. I think it's a thing where now lefties are coming out of the bullpen earlier in the game to face left-handed hitters. There's maybe two lefties in the bullpen that are there every day just to try to get you out when those big at-bats are coming. You gotta learn those guys; it's just how the game's really been evolving.”
  
Although he is not having his best offensive season he does have a good perspective on his play.  Andre said, “I just want to take advantage of every day that I'm in the lineup.”

Baseball painting Honus Wagner Pittsburgh Pirates Shortstop "The Flying Dutchman"

Painting of MLB Baseball player Honus Wagner Shortstop Pittsburgh Pirates is approximately 54” by 68” acrylic on unstretched canvas. To view paintings for sale please visit:
John Robertson Sports Paintings for sale.

The Pittsburgh Pirates' Honus Wagner, a dead-ball era baseball player who is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time. One of the Hall of Fame's five original inductees in 1936, Honus Wagner combined rare offensive and defensive excellence throughout a 21-year career from 1897 to 1917.

One of my favorite stories about Honus Wagner was told by Burleigh Grimes in The Quotable Baseball Fanatic (2004)  "One day he was batting against a young pitcher who had just come into the league. The catcher was a kid, too. A rookie battery. The pitcher threw Honus a curveball, and he swung at it and missed and fell down on one knee. Looked helpless as a robin. I was kind of surprised, but the guy sitting next to me on the bench poked me in the ribs and said, 'Watch this next one.' Those kids figured they had the old man's weaknesses, you see, and served him up the same dish-as he knew they would. Well, Honus hit a line drive so hard the fence in left field went back and forth for five minutes."

Honus played shortstop and won eight batting titles, tied for the most in National League history,  led the league in slugging six times.  He said, “I don't make speeches. I let my bat speak for me in the summertime.” He led in stolen bases five times. Wagner was nicknamed "The Flying Dutchman" because he could run the bases so fast – and that he was German.

Most people know that the Honus Wagner baseball card is one of the most valuable sports card around. The reason it is so valuable is because it was recalled in 1909 and all were destroyed except for a few that got into circulation. At the time, the cards were distributed along with tobacco.   Wagner didn’t smoke and he didn’t like to being included in the tobacco promotion because he did not want to set a bad example for children.
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Honus Wagner’s Hall of Fame Induction Speech June 12, 1939.  Cooperstown, NY.    “Ladies and gentlemen, I was born 1874, and this organization was started was 1876. When I was just a kid I said, “ I hope some day I’ll be up there playing in this league.” And by chance I did. Now Connie Mack the gentleman that preceeded me here at the mike, I remember walking fourteen miles just to see him play ball for Pittsburgh. (crowd laughs) Walking and running, or hitchhiking a ride on a buggy, them days we had no automobile. I certainly am pleased to be here in Cooperstown today, and this is just a wonderful little city, or town, or village or whaever we’d call it. It puts me in mind of Sleepy Hollow. (crowd laughs) However I want to thank you for being able to come here today.”


Baseball painting Babe Ruth New York Yankees King of Swat

Here is Babe Ruth's "The King of Swat" Hall of Fame speech of June 12, 1939

“Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I hope some day that some of the young fellows coming into the game will know how it feels to be picked in the Hall of Fame. I know the old boys back in there were just talking it over, some have been here long before my time. They got on it, I worked hard, and I got on it. And I hope that the coming generation, the young boys today, that they’ll work hard and also be on it.

And as my old friend Cy Young says, “I hope it goes another hundred years and the next hundred years will be the greatest. You know to me this is just like an anniversary myself, because twenty-five years ago yesterday I pitched my first baseball game in Boston, for the Boston Red Sox. (applause)

So it seems like an anniversary for me too, and I’m surely glad and it’s a pleasure for me to come up here and be picked also in the Hall of Fame. Thank you.”

“The Babe “  Babe Ruth painting.  12” x 16” canvas on board.  Ink and acrylic.  The background is newsprint (from old Sporting News, newspaper about baseball) attached to the canvas board.  The paper is then distressed to give it a old and beat-up, used look.  The painting will fit into a standard 12” x 16” frame.  To view paintings for sale please visit: John Robertson Sports Paintings for sale.

I think Babe Ruth was one of the first of the truly national baseball celebrities who was a great crowd pleaser.  Branch Rickey (ex-Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers) said of Babe,  “He has created an expectation of hero worship on the part of the youth of this country, and it was a most fortunate thing that Ruth kept faith with the boyhood of America because they loved him.”  I am sure there are comparisons to some of the current baseball players - but so many of today's athletes seem to have a team of publicists promoting them.  And they may not have anywhere near the character "The Babe" had.  He said, "The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." 

Baseball Painting of Boston Red Sox Pitcher Curt Schilling Portrait


The painting of Curt Schilling is 50” x 70” acrylic on unstretched canvas.  To view paintings for sale please visit:  John Robertson Sports Paintings for sale.


The great pitcher Curtis Montague Schilling who finished his Major League Baseball career at the Boston Red Sox was aright-handed pitcher who helped lead the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series in 1993 and won World Series championships in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks and in 2004 and 2007 with the Boston Red Sox. Schilling retired with a career postseason record of 11–2. His .846 postseason winning percentage is a major-league record among pitchers with at least 10 decisions.

In the current news Curt that announced he had been diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma -- cancer in the mouth. Schilling blames his use of chewing tobacco as a player.

According to Steve Silva of the Boston Globe, Curt Schilling said, "I did (chewing tobacco) for about 30 years. It was an addictive habit. I can think of so many times in my life when it was so relaxing to just sit back and have a dip and do whatever, and I lost my sense of smell, my taste buds for the most part. I had gum issues, they bled, all this other stuff. None of it was enough to ever make me quit. The pain that I was in going through this treatment, the second or third day it was the only thing in my life that had that I wish I could go back and never have dipped. Not once. It was so painful."


The painting of Curt Schilling is 50” x 70” acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Baseball Art Painting of Pittsburgh Pirates Dave Parker


Baseball painting of Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Dave Parker(The Cobra) throwing a baseball painted by sports artist John Robertson. He was the 1979 National League MVP and two-time batting champion.  Parker was the first professional athlete to earn an average of one million dollars per year.  One of his great quotes is, "When the leaves turn brown, I'll be wearing the batting crown" - Dave Parker in mid-season 1978.