Willie Mays Video Sports Art by Artist John Robertson

Willie Mays

Happy Birthday Willie Mays born May 6, 1931.  Here is a video interview of Willie Mays, the “Say Hey Kid”  where sports artist John Robertson created three paintings for Fox Sports back in 2007.  The interview is by Derek Jeter and Ken Griffey Jr. and was shown on Fox Sports during the pregame

   

2007 Major League Baseball (MLB) All-Star Game in San Francisco.  As you probably know Willie played almost all of his 22-season career playing for New York and then the San Francisco Giants.

How John Robertson Started as Sports Artist

People have asked me how John Robertson got started as a sports artist doing stadiums and arenas for major sports teams.  This is what helped him get started as a sports artist. A short time before creating this work Fox had hired John to create six paintings for a NBA (National Basketball Association) commercial that ran nationally in the major regional basketball markets. Here is a link to that video.  That NBA basketball commercial was the first major sports project he did.

 I apologize for the poor quality of the video but it is all that is available

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/

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.


Clayton Kershaw LA Dodgers Baseball No-Hitter


About the Clayton Kershaw, LA Dodgers Baseball Painting.

Sports Artist Jophn Robertson's painting of Clayton Kershaw left-handed pitcher for the LA Dodgers. Baseball art image is approximately 8" x 10" on a 11" x 14" drafting film painted in oil. 

All Los Angeles Dodgers would love to see Clayton Kershaw come up with another grerat like this one when he threw the no-hitter.  It would be a great way for the LA Dodgers to finish off the season and launch into the playoffs.

Kershaw's Comments About His No-Hitter

 This is what he said about that no-hitter game he threw a couple of years ago.  "I guess I really haven't thought of the ramifications of throwing one of these things," Clayton Kershaw said. "It's definitely special company. I don't take for granted the history of this or what it means. I definitely understand all that. But as far as individually, though, it's right up there with winning playoff games and World Series games and all that stuff. It's pretty cool."

About Clayton Kershaw Pitching  No-Hitter

Apparently Clayton Kershaw through one of the greatest games in history  .According to Game Score, a metric created by baseball statistic guru Bill James to rank how effective a pitcher was in a game, Kershaw's 102 was the best ranking a no-hitter has produced and the second-best pitching performance of any kind, trailing only Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout, one-hit, no-walk game in 1998, which earned a Game Score of 105.
Kershaw" no-hit" the Rockies while striking out 15 and not walking a single batter.   It was not a perfect game because of a throwing error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the seventh. But it was one of a kind: the first time in major league history that a pitcher struck out at least 15 without allowing a hit or a walk.  

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.

Baseball Catch Down Third Base Line


"Baseball Catch Down Third Base Line"

 Sports paintings by artist John Robertson
48" x 84" (4 feet by 7 1/2 feet) acrylic on unstretched canvas


Catching a throw-out from a fielder is easy – but a baseball catch on a line drive down the third base line is hard. But it looks easy from the stands - and artistic with the baseball player’s body laid nearly parallel with the ground and across the infield. Most batters think that when they hit a line drive it is good for a base and sometimes two.  But a good third baseman will break the batter’s heart with a great catch.

A couple of interesting baseball rules about catching a ball.


Here is an interesting rule in baseball which has to do with catching a baseball.  Players can only catch the ball with their hand, or their mitt. You can’t use your hat or your shirt or anything that’s not your bare hand or the mitt. If the ball is caught, or even touched intentionally, by a player with anything other than their bare hand or glove, on their hand, all runners, including the batter, get to advance a base.   Now I did see once a play where the infielder was catching a high fly ball behind a base but in play.  The ball his glove and bounced out but he caught it between his forearm and bicep.  It was ruled a hit and the batter took first base.

Tied into the above rule is one of my favorites, An infield fly is when a ball stays in the infield that isn't a bunt or line drive.  When there are runners on first and second or first, second, and third and less than two outs the umpire can make the judgment that an infielder, catcher, or pitcher could catch it with ordinary effort (whatever that means) the batter is out, even if no one caught it, even if they did catch it and then dropped it. The ball is still in play so any base runners who began to advance can still continue and the normal rules apply to them.  Confusing but fair because if they let it drop there is a good possibility for a double play on the players who hold their base with anticipation of the ball being caught.  If it is dropped then they are stuck on the base and when advancing can be easily thrown out.   This is where the expression “Hung out to dry” is sometimes used when the player is hung out on the base line waiting for the bsll to be either csught or dropped.  As an aside the expression comes is  based on the practice of hanging an animal that has been killed in a tree so its meat can dry.  Nice metaphor for a base runner. 

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.

Spitball Pitch Baseball sports art painting

Spitball pitch definition (thank you Wikipedia)

A spitball pitch is an illegal pitch in which the ball has been altered by the application of saliva, petroleum jelly, or some other foreign substance. The pitch causes the ball to move atypically due to the altered wind-resistance and weight on one side of the ball. Alternative names for the spitball are
spitter, mud ball, shine ball and emery ball, although technically, an emery ball is one where the ball has been abraded in much the same way that the original cut ball had been physically cut. The altering of the ball's state by the use of artificial substances such as sun block, dirt or degradation by fingernails or other hard substances is illegal tampering.

Spitball Questions

So, there is a question to be asked:  Anybody throwing spitball pitchesanymore?  Not many as there are so many cameras on the pitcher it is hard for the pitcher to disguise putting some sort of crap on the baseball. Another question to be asked:  How does a normal “spitballer” get the “spit” or the doctoring onto the ball.  Some players would put some sort of odd substance on their uniform or body between innings then wipe it onto the ball.  For example, some put petroleum jelly or sunscreen or hair cream on their head then wipe it onto the ball (Try doing this unseen by cameras and zoom lenses).  Umpires would come out and check the uniforms and body of players.  One player put Vaseline on his pants zipper knowing that the umpire was not going to check there. If the pitcher has a great friend on the infield the friend can always put some “spit” on the ball and throw it to the pitcher.  But that can be a bit messy when the pitcher catches the ball. 

Like any good thief a good spitball throwing pitcher hardly ever caught so we don’t know how often the pitch is thrown.  Most pitchers overestimate their ability to throw a spitball pitch and when questioned by the umpire stutter nervously, and breathe irregularly.  They start looking around as if searching for an easy exit.  So, to be a good spitballer you have to have the dexterity hide your handling of the ball to manipulate it to get the “spit” onto it.  To see if you are dexterous enough, using india ink, write the Lord's Prayer thrice on a piece of paper the size of apostage stamp. This is going to test your honesty to the lord and dexterity, and, of course, if you can do both, then you don’t need or want to throw a spitball.

About the painting

"The Spitter" spitball sports art painting by artist John Robertson is 50" x 70" acrylic on unstretched canvas.


LA Dodgers Yasiel Puig right fielder

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 and
not 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 Cienfuegos, 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.

About the Painting

The painting by sports artist John Robertson is approximately  4 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas

Ryne Sandberg Chicago Cubs Second Baseman

Why Paint Ryne Sandberg


Ryne Sandberg nicknamed "Ryno" played in Major League Baseball as a second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs.

I painted this sports art for my niece as a wedding present.  My sister lived in Chicago for a number of years and, as I remember, she went to graduate school there also.  She is a big fan of the Chicago Cubs and when her first daughter was born she named her Ryne after Ryne Sandberg.  Although they eventually moved away from the Chicago area they continued to be fans of Chicago.  Knowing that I am a sports artist, my niece asked for a Chicago Cubs painting.  So I have surprised her with this baseball painting.

Ryne Sandberg Interesting Stats

Sandberg was a perennial All-Star and Gold Glove candidate, making 10 consecutive All-Star appearances and winning nine consecutive Gold Gloves from 1983 to 1991. His career .989 fielding percentage is a major-league record at second base. Sandberg was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in January 2005; he was formally inducted in ceremonies on July 31, 2005. 

Ryne Sandberg Quotes

 In his  July 31, 2005, Cooperstown, NY Baseball Hall of Fame speech he said, "The reason I am here, they tell me, is that I played the game a certain way, that I played the game the way it was supposed to be played. I don’t know about that, but I do know this: I had too much respect for the game to play it any other way, and if there was there is a single reason I am here today, it is because of one word, "respect."¹ I love to play baseball. I’m a baseball player. I’ve always been a baseball player. I’m still a baseball player. That’s who I am."

One of my favorite quotes from Ryne Sandberg is because it has more meaning in to life and not just baseball.  He said, "In baseball, there's always the next day."  There  is always the next day to move on with your life.  Don't let the past haunt and weigh you down.  I like that thought.


The John Robertson Sports Art painting is 48" by 63" acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Sports Baseball painting of Minnesota Twins Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer Old Catcher Now First Baseman


This painting of Joe Mauer first baseman and used to be catcher of the Minnesota Twins major league baseball team is approximately 8” x 10” on a 11” x 14” piece of drafting film. Ink and watercolor.

Joe Mauer's main position when he started playing was catcher and sometimes first baseman.  When asked to paint him for a relative he wanted a painting of Joe as a catcher.  As a catcher Joe took a few hits to the head causing some concussions.  On November 11, 2014 the Twins announced that Mauer would permanently move to first base in order to protect their star player from further concussions and the day-to-day physical wear of being a major league catcher.  Since then, like in the past he has performed nicely.

 Painting Inspiration

This painting was created for a  gift to my nephew-in-law.  He is my wife's sister's son who absolutely loves the Minnesota Twins and goes to as many games as he possibly can.   My wife's family is from Minnesota and her sister lives just about a hour north from the Twin Cities.  When my nephew left Minnesota to take a teaching job in Mexico he wanted something that would remind him of his home state.  His mother suggested a baseball player and we somehow found out his favorite player was Joe Mauer.

I did paint Joe as a surprise and it eventually the painting ended up in Mexico.  My nephew comes back to the states for all vacations and, of course back to Minnesota.  And one of the first things he does is go to a Twins game.  We get to see him every summer and a few times he has come to California to visit.   Also, he is moving on from Mexico after three years there he is not sure where his next job will be.  But he does like teaching in a foreign country except for missing the Twins

Nephew likes Minnesota Vikings



What is going to be fun this upcoming summer 2016 is the opening of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.  Both my wife and I have painted large-scale sports artwork for the new stadium and will be able to take her nephew to the opening in July.  He is excited about the whole process as football and the Vikings is his next big passion.  Don't tell him but I will probably get some prints of the images I painted for the Vikings and they will be a great gift for his return.

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."

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 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.”