Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Play Ball!

It's April. And that means it's time for another season (lasting a full seven months, actually) of the National Pastime. Now, in our country's current collective consciousness, that title may refer to Football. But to those of us who are old-fashioned purists for the term, that means the greatest game this country ever invented -- Baseball.
Welcome to the April edition of Not Your Usual Caricature Artist.

Before you say Basketball is the greatest game we ever invented, here's an historical tidbit: James W. Naismith, the athletics coach at what later became the University of Springfield (Mass.), created the game of Basketball in 1891 as a form of recreation and exercise during the winter months, to keep active until the Spring...his school Baseball players.

But I digress.

Since many of you know me as a fan of the superlative caricature and cartoon art of Mad Magazine, I thought I'd team up my two passions and display some of the fun Mad has had with Baseball through the years:

Surprisingly, I find I've done next to nothing on Baseball myself. Save for this recent piece I did for a good friend of mine with whom I went to The High School of Music & Art in New York.  Mike Brent has gone on to a happy and fulfilling career as a wonderful painter and portraitist:

Although we're not looking at purely baseball players here, these are two Bar mitzvah boys -- one of whom, the young man in the hat, is my son Benjamin -- who enjoyed the game along with others.

I'm fudging with this last guy. He, of course, is an NBA icon and principal owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, soon to be Charlotte Hornets. But in 1994, he followed his father's original dream for him and played minor league ball for the Chicago White Sox affiliate Birmingham Barons. Over 127 games, he hit a meager .202, but managed to drive in 51 runs and steal 30 bases!

Good thing, however, he soon went back to his day job.

My monthly job is to send out this newsletter. 

Hope you enjoyed Not Your Usual Caricature Artist. Look for it again the first Tuesday of next month.

Joel Kweskin