Tag Archives: perfect game

Indy Ball Artist – My Story

As some of my readers may know, I enjoy drawing as much as I enjoy writing.  I know I’m not a really great artist compared to a lot of people, but I do have some talent. In a way, it helps me relate better to independent ball players. They have talent, but they have to keep honing their skills to rise through the ranks of true professionals.

Baseball gives me a chance to escape from reality too.  It gives me an outlet for drawing and writing.  I can be as creative as I want while always working on getting better and enjoying things I love.

For the most part, I choose to draw players who play in indy ball or in the minor leagues. Even though major league players are appreciative when they see a drawing I’ve done, there is nothing like giving an independent or minor league player a drawing of themselves. Usually, it is the first time they’ve ever had someone do that for them. The look on their face is priceless.

I frame all of the original drawings after they are signed by the players and put them on my own “wall of fame.”  It’s grown over the last two years as has my skills as an artist. My first player drawing was done in the summer of 2012. The subject was then  AA Altoona Curve Pitcher, Vic Black who is now a member of the Major League NY Mets bullpen.

Take a look at my “wall of fame” and my drawings so far.

2014-11-29 11.19.22

Independent Players

EddieJustin Edwards, Washington Wild Things

DrewDrew Rossi, Washington Wild Things

stewStewart Ijames, Washington Wild Things (current DBacks prospect)

CJCJ Beatty, Washington Wild Things (Current White Sox prospect)

Q drawingQuincy Latimore, Washington Wild Things (Current Nationals Prospect)

zacZac Fuesser (Former Pirates prospect and Wild Thing) with his father.

samSam Montgomery, Washington Wild Things

pomaDanny Poma, Washington Wild Things

jimmyJim Vahilk, Washington Wild Things

jkJonathan Kountis, Washington Wild Things (Greek God of Saves)

perfect gameMatt Sergey and team, Perfect Game Washington Wild Things

richieRichie Serritella, Trinidad Triggers (Check out the Pecos League posts!)

tylerTyler Elrod, Washington Wild Things

Minor League Players

VicVic Black, Altoona Curve (current Met) My first drawing!

ryanRyan Hafner, Pirates prospect

NickNick Kingham, Pirates prospect

stetsonStetson Allie, Pirates Prospect

CoryCory Vaughn, Mets prospect

mattMatt Curry, former Pirates prospect (current FA)

Major League Players

pedroPedro Alvarez, Pirates

cutchAndrew McCutchen, Pirates

chapmanAlrodis Chapman, Reds

john axJohn Axford, Pirates (Current FA)

johnJohn Holdzkom, Pirates

lamboAndrew Lambo, Pirates

tonyTony Sanchez, Pirates

me and tonySelf Portrait with Tony Sanchez

Thank you to all of my wonderful drawing subjects so far!

My Favorite Baseball Moment was Perfect.

Watching this amazing MLB post season full of games that have been anything but ordinary has made me wonder… What is your favorite baseball moment? Were you on the field, in the stands or just simply watching it on TV?

If I had been asked this question last year, I would have said without a doubt that my favorite baseball moment was being a part of the 2013 NL Wild Card crowd at PNC Park when the Pirates faced the Reds. 20 years of losing was finally over.  I was able to witness my first playoff game in person.  Since I was 2 years old the previous time the Pirates were in the playoffs, I had no idea what it was like to have a team play an important game in October. This 2013 Pirates team was the special group to change all of that. I know that I will never forget them or that feeling as long as I live. The CUETO chant will forever be etched in my memory.

However, that Wild Card game was my favorite baseball moment for all of 10 months. On a Sunday afternoon, August 24th to be exact, in a much smaller stadium, Consol Energy Park, and in front of a totally different crowd, there were less than 2,000 fans in attendance, I witnessed perfection for the first time.

First, rewind back to the night before. The Wild Things were auctioning jerseys off for Ovarian Cancer night, and I decided to bid on one of my favorite pitchers and Sunday’s starter, Matt Sergey (or “Other Matt” as we affectionately called him.) Little did I know what special part that jersey would have in my collection and what special part that pitcher would have in my baseball memories.

Sunday’s “Kids Day” game started like every other one that season… 5:05 start, attendance in the low thousands, and I was sitting in Row B seat 8 of section 101 as I had done every game I had been to that season. Matt Sergey, who had been used in relief for the majority of the season, was given another shot at being a full-time starter. As he left the bullpen for the start of the game, I yelled “Good Luck Other Matt” like I had done every time he went into the game. Everything was the same routine as it had been all season long, except that the game turned into something that was anything but routine.

Since I now claimed Matt as “my jersey guy”, I took plenty of pictures of him that day, and I am sure glad that I did. If you’ve never experienced a perfect game in person, I’m not sure if my words will be able to convey the true emotions of the game, especially if you have a personal connection with the person on the mound attempting to make history. The game was cruising along nicely, and Matt was dealing on the mound.

I remember looking up at the scoreboard in the 5th and seeing all zeros. Our scoreboard in Washington doesn’t count walks, so I hurried up and checked the PointStreak stats on my phone to see if anyone had been on base at all. I realized that he had more than just a no-no going on… he was chasing perfection. As my anxiety was growing, I started asking everyone else in 101 if they saw exactly what was happening. Following baseball superstitions, none of us said the words “perfect game” as we all (un)patiently sat in our seats watching the game unfold.

I took notice in the 5th and had been anxious ever since, but I would say that the 7th inning is when I started living and dying by every pitch. Each at bat made me nervous, and I would sit watching our defense intently. In section 101, we were passing around the heart monitor app and checking our pulse as our hearts were beating faster and faster with each out. Glancing around the ballpark, you could see that everyone else was slowly starting to catch on to what was happening on the field. The crowd hushed on balls and long fly balls and cheered loudly for every out. By the top of the 9th, half the crowd was already standing, and with one out to go, not one person in the ballpark was sitting.

When the Gateway Grizzlies’ batter hit a ground ball to short stop, Ryan Kresky, who promptly threw the ball to 1st baseman , Garrett Rau, for the last out of the game, I was going absolutely insane. Seeing Matt drop to the ground and pound his glove into the ground caused me to have tears in my eyes. The emotion he showed, the emotion our whole team showed rushing the mound, was just something that I will never be able to forget. These were guys who I truly cared about on and off the baseball field. This team (this #SQUAD) was special. And not only was it the first perfect game in Wild Things history, but the first in Frontier League history! 22 years and no one had thrown a perfect game before. “Other Matt” only needed 100 pitches and 2 hours and 51 minutes to become “Perfect Matt” that day.

Talking to Matt after the game and getting that soaking wet Gatorade hug was hands down THE baseball moment that I will never forget. Being a part of something so special was amazing, and no matter what I type, words cannot do it justice.

Here’s the WildThings’ YouTube video of the final out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgOGPKnf_E4&list=PLFyTVgsCuEO0VDr8gtvjeO3eeXX6405TJ

perfect matt1

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perfect matt

perfect game drawing

perfection shirt

So… what is YOUR favorite baseball moment?