I dew on my iPad while watching the first game of the World Series. Top of the second inning Dodgers Matt Kemp hits a solo home run over the Green Monster. It was a good start for the Dodgers but their defensive playing did not hold up through the game.
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
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.”
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.
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"
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LA Dodgers Playoffs
Wouldn’t it be nice is the LA Dodgers had someone who was part of the team during the play-offs to bring home the League Championship? Here it is, time for the LA Dodgers post-season play-off, a run toward the World Series and there is no pitcher like Josh Beckett, who, at 23 received the award as the 2003 World Series MVP while with the Marlins, and with the Red Sox for the win in the 2007 World Series. - At 34 in he pitched a no hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies for the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 25, 2014 becoming the 19th man to do so in Dodgers history. However, his year and career ended due to an injury and he announced his retirement on October 7, 2014. But For Beckett there was never another time for a World Series appearence. In a different context but similar circumstances Josh said this about change, "As much as I'm looking forward to the next chapter, I enjoyed the last one. Even during the tough times I met so many people who were just awesome. They were real fans."
A Little More About Josh Beckett
With Beckett it would have been such an easier task but the variety of injuries and the time spent in rehabilitation did not make for a nice ending to the season that year. And he went in for surgery again next year with the big life time out on the horizon.
There is always that observation that baseball-is-a-metaphor-for-life. A young baseball player goes out and plays through his youth and when he gets old enough he tries to make a living at it. He makes a team. He has good days and bad days. He goes home and his wife and children are happy to see him. When he plays he is part of a team of workers but he has his individual job to do, pitch, strike, hit, catch, etc. - all of which he does on his own. There is nobody to help him on those things. Either he has learned his skills or not. Yes, his co-workers help him out on some of his skills, but the bottom line is - he is on his own. Josh Beckett says to others, "... I just tell them, 'You have to deal with some of this and some of that, but you're going to get this and get that.''
I always liked what Beckett had to say about his pitching and which could apply to almost anything anyone does. He said, “I think I've always been prepared for this. I know what I have to do. You can't make rocket science out of it. You just have to execute pitches. Don't let exterior distractions in. It just takes away from what you're trying to do.”
About the LA Dodgers Josh Beckett Art by Sports Artist John Robertson
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
Baseball Art LA DodgersThe 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
Andre Ethier Right Fielder
As of this writing Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers is hanging out at the
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.
LA Dodgers Catcher
Painting of LA Dodgers catcher. The LA Dodgers have two good catchers with each doing a yeoman job with the pitching teammates. This painting could be of either Yasmani Grandal or Austin Barnes as I used a generic catcher for reference to the painting. As a Los Angeles Dodgers both are having a good season. Yasmani Grandal: led all every-day catchers in the majors with 27 homers last season and at the time of this posting his batting average is batting 316. Austin Barnes: batting 265 right now is a player the Dodgers were willing to part with veteran Carlos Ruiz, in part, because of their confidence in Barnes.
These two catchers have had some good highlights and being on a winning team that have a good shot at the World Series this year.. I am not sure if these catchers do what so many others do, learning in the minor leagues to watch every game on replay. A catcher wants to do is look at the sequences, go through the at-bats, and consider what other things they could have done - maybe differently. It was a way of re-thinking the games and that may give them insights for future games. And this makes any pitcher respect his catcher, knowing that his catcher has done all the homework possible to make the right pitching calls.
The catcher baseball painting by Sports Artist John Robertson is 48 inches by 48 inches, ink and acrylic on old baseball newsprint attached to canvas.
Fate of Yasiel Puig
Yasiel Puig - mega-talented right fielder of the Los Angeles Dodgers - and as of this writing and finishing of this painting may be destined to leave the Dodgers in s trade. Here are a couple of links to other sites that write about the rumors more clearly than I ever could - as I am a sports artist andnot a writer. I only try to provide a little background to the paintings I paint. So if you are interested in what may happen or want to see what people were guessing before whatever happen, did happen, then check out these two links:
Yasiel Puig Journey to US
As most of you who are reading this know that Yasiel Puig left the
island of Cuba and was smuggled into the United States with the help of people with
special interests in Miami and Cancun.
Even with outside help, by anyone's
imagination, it must have been a risky journey that few would be willing to
take. People make the trip for a variety
of reasons - but most do so for economic or political motives. And, apparently there is a lot of crazy
stories surrounding Yasiel Puig's migration to the United States. If you
are at all interested in what Yasiel Puig faced in his travels to the United States,
you might wish to read the article attached to the following link. http://espn.go.com/espn/feature/story/_/id/10781144/no-one-walks-island-los-angeles-dodgers-yasiel-puig-journey-cuba
Short Information about Yasiel Puig
He grew up in
and played for the Cuban national team in the 2008 World Junior Championship,
where they won a bronze medal. He then played in the Cuban National Series, but
a failed attempt at defecting to the United States had him out for a season
as punishment. He then tried several more times to defect to Mexico (so as to get to the U.S. by land),
finally succeeding in 2012. Puig signed with the Dodgers in 2012.