Thanks to a tip from talented author and historian Nick Diunte, I’ve discovered some unsung heroes. Guys who are still enjoying the baseball stories behind the headlines.
One such gem is Paul Nichols. His baseball artwork defies my anemic adjectives. See for yourself at his website. Go on, I’ll wait.
Welcome back. I asked Paul a few questions about his artful adventures. Here’s his reply:
Q. You mentioned on your website about being able to share a print of your J.J. Hardy creation, and how he liked it. Other examples of baseball feedback you’ve received from individual players, past or present — via Twitter, email, phone, or in-person?
A: Bryce Harper saw a caricature I was working on and tweeted that it was the coolest thing he’d ever seen.
Jake Arrieta saw my painted baseball of his no-hitters and retweeted it with thumbs up & fire emoji’s (I guess that’s what the young people relate to).
I met Drew Storen and showed him a baseball I’d painted of him. He pulled his phone out and showed me a Batman painting he’d done – he’s a good artist, but definitely keeps it pretty low-key.
The ‘Marlins Man‘ is a big fan. I’ve done a total of 17 baseballs for him, including 14 of last year’s KC Royals champs.
Q: Any places collectors and fans would see your baseball work (such as team commissions, baseball card companies, etc.)?
A: Not yet; haven’t been able to crack through on an official level. Strictly private commission work up to now.
Q: Tell us about one of your favorite creations to date.
A: One of my favorites is this Stan Musial baseball. His son-in-law contacted me after seeing the first one I’d done, and asked me to do one that he gave to his wife (Stan’s daughter) as a gift. It’s on display on their fireplace mantle – I’m pretty proud of that!
How can a fan get through a baseball-less winter? Talents like Paul’s will keep hot stove leaguers warm until 2017.