Results tagged ‘ Nolan Ryan ’
Rangers Ballpark In Arlington is a mere 8-hour drive from my front door, so you’ll forgive me if I’m not seen at a Rangers home game more than a few times a year. In fact, it’s now been over a year since I saw my last Rangers game live. Yes, I sometimes feel sorry for myself but fortunately, the Astros’ games are no longer on Fox Sports Southwest, so I can pretty much watch any Rangers game on TV save for the Friday night games which are only shown locally in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.
What I’m trying to say here is I won’t be at RBiA tonight to see the opener of the Texas Rangers and the defending American League Champion Detroit Tigers. I live too far away, I don’t have enough scratch to make the trip and there have been no wealthy benefactors offering to pay my way there.
Here’s what I can’t understand, though. This isn’t just the first game matching up the last two American League Champions. It is also a match-up of two of the best starting pitchers playing in the game today. Yu Darvish vs. Justin Verlander. One’s a Cy Young Award winner, the other is pitching like he wants the CYA this year.
As much of a Rangers fan as I am, I also know I cannot watch each and every game of the season. Besides the aforementioned Friday night games, this year I’m now forced to accept my age and retire for the night before a West Coast game can reach its conclusion. Family and work responsibilities get in the way of a number of other games. Believe it or not, sometimes I’d rather just watch something else on the tube instead of the Rangers game.
There is, however, a time when I will move heaven and earth to make sure I get to see my beloved Rangers play, and that is a game in which Yu Darvish takes the mound for Texas. It has literally been almost 20 years since a Rangers pitcher has compelled me to watch a game whenever he took the mound. The last pitcher from so long ago? Nolan Ryan.
Over the years, Texas Rangers baseball has been appointment viewing for me because of hitters like Ruben Sierra, Juan Gonzalez, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, Josh Hamilton, even Pete Incaviglia for a short while. A pitcher? Only twice. Ryan and now Darvish. Had I lived in Texas back then, perhaps Fergie Jenkins might have elicited a reaction as well.
The variety of Darvish’s pitching repertoire, the movement he has on some of his pitches and the prodigious number of strikeouts makes Darvish appointment television for me all of 400+ miles away from the site it’s occurring in. Then, when you add Justin Verlander to the equation as the opponent on the mound, this is a must-see event only slightly below a playoff game in importance.
I say this because, as of this writing, tonight’s Darvish-Verlander match-up is shaping up to have the lowest attendance of any game in the 4-game set. I know it’s the only game of the four not being played on the weekend, but for goodness sake, IT’S DARVISH AGAINST VERLANDER!!! I’d let my kids and grandkids miss school the next day to see a pitching match-up like this. If it were a day game and I were a teacher, I’d set up a TV in my classroom to let my students see it. If my wife threatened to leave me tonight, I might even consider asking her to wait a couple of hours so we can talk about it after the game (I really wouldn’t, but you get my point).
Darvish vs. Verlander and as of lunchtime today, there were almost 10,000 tickets still available for the game. Is the American Idol finale really THAT important??? I guess fans don’t care about pitching match-ups as much as they used to. What a shame, because this could be one of the better games any fan could see this season.
- Preview: Tigers at Rangers (wyff4.com)
- PODCAST: Yu Darvish vs Justin Verlander tonight in Arlington as the Texas Rangers face the Detroit Tigers (rattleandhumsports.com)
- Darvish, Verlander Set For Showdown Thursday (dfw.cbslocal.com)
Yu Darvish ERA by Innings, 2013:
Translation: Get to Darvish in the first or don’t get him at all.
Here’s one I love- Yu’s Strikeout to walk ratio in leverage situations:
Low Leverage: 7.20
Medium Leverage: 2.89
High Leverage: 10.00
Translation: When things look their worst, Darvish is at his best.
Opponents Batting Average in Yu’s first 25 pitches is a pedestrian .382. After 25 pitches? A meager .111
At his current pace, Darvish would end 2013 with 349 Strikeouts. That would be the most since Randy Johnson K’d 372 in 2001 and would rank 6th in all-time season performance. It would also be in only 33 starts. The highest K total in 33 starts or less is currently Pedro Martinez, who struck out 313 batters in 31 starts in 1999.
The best single season strikeout per 9 innings pitcher was Randy Johnson’s 13.41 in 2001. Darvish is currently on a pace of 14.2 K/9.
In just 36 starts over the course of one season and a month, Darvish is already third on the Rangers’ all-time list for games with 10+ strikeouts with 12. In second is Bobby Witt, who accomplished the feat 24 times over 10 seasons. Nolan Ryan tops the list with 34 times over a 4-year stretch.
Translation: Yu Darvish is one impressive dude.
- Yu Darvish is striking out a lot of hitters (hardballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- The best right-hander? Darvish is the man (espn.go.com)
Prediction: Yu Darvish will be the American League starting pitcher in this year’s All-Star Game.
Those who follow Derek Holland on Twitter know Dutch has been known to unleash torrents of of 140-character phrases letting us know the utter fearsomeness of one Chuck Norris. Chuck can do no wrong in Derek’s eyes. If you take the first five starts of 2013 and combine them with the last month and a half of the 2012 season, a case can be made for substituting the name Yu Darvish in place of Chuck Norris. Darvish is not only winning, he’s often making opposing offenses look silly while doing it. It wasn’t just the near perfect game in his first start against the lowly Houston Astros. Darvish was golden last week against the Seattle Mariners in a 7-0 win. Wait, you might say. Aren’t the Astros and the Mariners notoriously bad offenses? You can’t count them. First of all, the Astros offense isn’t as bad as it looked the first week of the season. The Mariners also are an improved offensive team from their previous two seasons. Even if I were to grant you your point, though, last night’s gem against the Los Angeles Angels should dispel any doubts you might have had. The Angels sport the most dangerous line-up in the American League with the likes of Trout, Pujols, Hamilton and Trumbo. All Darvish did against them last night was fan 11 batters in six innings of work. Darvish has not given up a run in three of his five starts. The two starts he gave up runs, he was bothered by a blister in his throwing hand. His current scoreless streak is at 18.1 consecutive innings. He’s faced 13 batters this year when he’s gotten ahead 0-2. Ten of them subsequently struck out. Darvish has an arsenal of up to ten different pitches. He can throw them all at varying degrees of speed. The second time he faced his old teammate Josh Hamilton last night, Darvish started him off with a sub 62 mph curve ball. Hamilton flailed helplessly at it. The very next pitch, though taken for a ball, was a 98 mph fastball. Try adjusting to something like that regularly. In this case, it’s funny because Darvish lost that battle with Hamilton, but the hit Josh got was a little nubber on the infield that may have been an out had Darvish not stumbled when he arrived at the first base bag.
There’s so much wonderfulness to see of Yu Darvish. The link below shows batters swinging and missing at five different pitches in Yu’s arsenal, all superimposed on each other:
This, courtesy of the Rangers: Darvish is the only pitcher since 1916 with 3 starts of 6 IP, 10 Ks or less and 3 hits or less in his 1st 21 games. Then there’s this gif showing all of Darvish’s K’s against the Angels last night, this one courtesy of shutdowninning.com. Note especially the bender that froze Mike Trout:
Since August 28th of 2012, Yu Darvish has gone 9-2 for the Rangers with a 1.77 ERA, a o.79 WHIP and 98 strikeouts in only 76.1 innings pitched, a rate of 11.55 K’s per 9 innings pitched. Opposing teams are hitting a putrid .147 in that time. He’s only given up one home run in that span. Yu Darvish is truly the first starting pitcher the Texas Rangers have had since Nolan Ryan that I would stop whatever I’m doing just to watch him pitch. He has talent, he has charisma, he has a chance to become the most dominant pitcher ever to come out of Japan. I’m pretty sure I’m glad he’s pitching for the Texas Rangers, too.
- Baseball: Darvish strikes down Angels for 4th win (english.kyodonews.jp)
There has been a lot more good than bad in looking at the potential of the 2013 Rangers to do some damage in the AL West. Last time out, I mentioned most of those good things. Of course, it turns out the only name I mentioned in passing could just possibly become the #5 starter , that being rookie Nick Tepesch. It’s not a surety, as it was also reported Michael Kirkman, who is on the team anyway, was stretched out to 4 innings in a minor league game. What reason for that if not to move from the pen into the #5 hole?
Enough, though, about the positives. Today is about the negatives. Most fans would agree, as much as we like our teams, we also tend to see our team’s flaws better than just about everyone and there are things this spring that have me a tad concerned (who is this Tad anyway and why is he always concerned?) going into the regular season.
Fortunately, one of those things became more of a moot point after the Rangers played the Reds on Sunday. Alexi Ogando had not been having a real good spring and he’s the #4 starter. While he was an All-Star as a starter two seasons ago, Ogando was in the pen and, following an injury, did not have a good second half. That combined with his poor spring had me thinking, who cares about the #5 starter? If our #4 isn’t doing well, nobody’s going to care about #5! Then Alexi goes out and tosses six goose-egg innings against Cincinnati and all seems right with the world again.
Look, Ogando still concerns me. We’ve heard he still needs to develop a third pitch to become a better starter. In 2012, he somehow managed an All-Star nod despite just a 2-pitch repertoire. Nothing I’ve heard out of training camp tells me Ogando’s third pitch, a change-up, is ready as a consistent weapon. If it is, I’ll breathe a lot easier. If not, the Rangers’ fortunes good go further south.
Of even more concern is the lack of right-handed depth in the bullpen. As glowing as my last post was about the southpaws Robbie Ross, Joe Ortiz, Michael Kirkman and Nate Robertson, the reverse has been true of the righties. The guys the Rangers really need to do well are Josh Lindblom (acquired from the Phillies in the Michael Young trade) and Tanner Scheppers. Lindblom struggled at first with his velocity. Now he’s struggling with his command. Scheppers was slowed by injury in training camp. Of the two, Scheppers seems to be the one turning it around somewhat, with scoreless outings in each of his last four appearances.
A year ago, the bullpen was a Rangers strength. This season, it’s definitely a work in progress. If all goes according to plan, Joakim Soria and Neftali Feliz will help solidify the pen after the All-Star break. In the meantime, Texas needs at least four of the aforementioned individuals to step up their games, especially Lindblom and Scheppers.
The last concern seems minor but it’s still an important roster spot. Texas still doesn’t know what they’re doing for a utility infielder who can back up Elvis Andrus at short. Last time out, I mentioned Yangervis Solarte as a possibility, but that ended when Solarte was reassigned to the minors over the weekend. Of the players now in camp, only Leury Garcia and Jurickson Profar are left. The Rangers have already said Profar, their #1 prospect, won’t stay unless he can get 350 at bats for the season. Profar would need to play 4 games a week to get those AB’s. With Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus up the middle, that’s not likely to happen.
That leaves Garcia and I just don’t think Ron Washington is ready to hand the job to a rookie. In other words, less than a week from Opening Night and it’s highly doubtful the player chosen as the Rangers’ utility infielder is even in Rangers camp. Ideally, he would be acquired in a straight-up trade for Julio Borbon, who probably won’t make the club despite an outstanding spring. Surely there’s someone out there who needs a 4th or 5th outfielder who could spare an infielder in return. We’ll know in the next 6 days.
On a totally unrelated subject: Remember just two weeks ago, when everyone was wondering whether Nolan Ryan was unhappy and ready to walk away from the Rangers? Not only has there been little reported on the situation in the past week plus, but I noticed a tweet today saying Ryan will throw out the first pitch at the second of the Rangers’ two exhibition games at the Alamodome in San Antonio this week. Does that sound like something someone whose departure is imminent would do? I said it when the story first cropped up and I’ll say it again. I think this has been a non-story all along. Does Nolan have less power in the Rangers organization? Yep. But I think this whole unhappiness thing has been more about Nolan just wanting to feel useful in Texas than it’s been about the amount of power he wields.
March 25th. Just a few more days before Texas and Houston in front of a nationwide audience Sunday night. It can’t get here soon enough.
There’s nothing that talk radio loves more than a good crisis. Sometimes they love it so much, they manufacture it.
I could be off base about this, but that’s the way I’m feeling about the reports out of the DFW area that Nolan Ryan may be ready to depart the Texas Rangers organization for good, possibly by the end of this month before the regular season begins.
Why the speculation? A few days ago, the Rangers announced they had promoted GM Jon Daniels to the combined post of GM and President of Baseball Operations. Meanwhile, Rick George was promoted to President of Business Operations. This leaves Ryan, who had been president of all operations as well as CEO, as “just” the CEO.
By the time Monday rolled around, Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram said he had it on good authority from “many sources close to Nolan Ryan” that Nolan didn’t take his “demotion” well and was soon to leave the organization, possibly by month’s end.
Admittedly, the number of sources I have in the Texas Rangers organization numbers zero. My boss has a friend who knows Neftali Feliz, but that’s as few degrees of Kevin Bacon as I can get. Still, I can’t help feel Galloway is making much ado about nothing here. Nolan is 66 years old and was treated just a year or two ago for heart troubles. As Sigmund Freud once said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Why can’t this simply be a situation where Nolan wants to ease his way into a well-deserved retirement. Let the kids do the heavy lifting while still having some decision-making power and a share of the profits while remaining as the figurehead heart of the franchise.
I guess folks don’t feel it could be that simple because if it were, Nolan would have said something to that effect when the promotions for Daniels and George were announced. The head of the ownership group, Bob Simpson, told Galloway the promotions had nothing to do with trying to usher Nolan out the door and said he wanted Ryan to stay as long as he wanted to stay.
Maybe at the end of this month, I’ll have egg on my face when Ryan decides yes, he will leave the organization. If so, I’ll wish him well but I don’t think it will have any effect whatsoever on how the Rangers do business or work on constructing the team. JD’s already been doing that for a while now.
All this takes away from what is the more pressing news on the field. Rookie Martin Perez, already the frontrunner for the 5th starter in the rotation, was hit by a line drive on Sunday and broke the forearm of his pitching arm. He’ll be out a month before he can resume throwing and figure on another month before he’s ready for any kind of game action.
Immediately the speculation began that Texas has to go out and sign Kyle Lohse now. I still don’t see it happening. This is your #5 starter we’re talking about. Do the Rangers really want to give up a first round draft pick to sign a #5 starter whose main job is to keep the spot warm until Colby Lewis is ready to come back in May? Seems like a pretty steep price to pay.
I’m beginning to see how hard it is to put together a team. So far, the other candidates for the #5 spot in camp have been underwhelming. In addition, #4 starter Alexi Ogando has gotten off to a rocky start this spring as well. It isn’t exactly filling the fan base with optimism about the back-end of the rotation. Still, Lohse is a steep price to pay for what could only be a month and a half long situation.
That, however, is not my call. I guess it’s not Nolan Ryan’s call anymore either. It’s all up to the Rangers’ new GM/President of Baseball Operations now.
- Is Nolan Ryan Leaving the Texas Rangers? (knue.com)
This was going to be the “Why The Season Broke Down” analysis post. Instead, Texas Rangers President Nolan Ryan, General Manager Jon Daniels and Manager Ron Washington decided today would be a great day to hold their first post-season press conference to talk about the season ending prematurely and what could transpire in the future.
First off, Dallas Morning News writer Evan Grant put to rest one rumor that has run rampant among Rangers on-line fans. He noted Jon Daniels not only gave Ron Washington his endorsement as manager of the club, but that both appeared quite relaxed and comfortable with each other. Many Rangers fans had imagined a power struggle between Wash and JD over the handling of highly regarded prospect Mike Olt after his promotion to the parent club. I never bought the whole power struggle conspiracy theory in the first place. Hopefully, this presser puts those rumors to rest.
Ah, but there was much to report beyond Ron Washington’s job security, with the biggest item reserved for the biggest free agent on the market this off-season, one Josh Hamilton. Daniels said the Rangers are NOT going to make Hamilton an offer during the exclusive negotiating window and will allow him to explore his options first. This is a gutsy call on JD’s part, but maybe not as risky as one might think.
Going into the off-season, Hamilton oftentimes stated the odds of him remaining a member of the Rangers was about 50-50. He also was quoted on more than one occasion he owed it to the Players Union to get the best deal possible, but would give the Rangers the first shot at his services. Daniels decided they’d waive the first shot. I find it highly doubtful Hamilton would have accepted the Rangers first offer no matter how generous because of his allegiance to the Players Union, so the front office passing up the chance to make that first offer might be much ado about nothing.
In addition, knowing Hamilton’s spiritual side, I believe (but have no proof) Josh’s agent and the Rangers already have a gentleman’s agreement to return to the Rangers after all the offers have come in to give Texas the last chance to re-sign him. That said, I’m sure the Rangers already have a final price and contract length in mind and will not hesitate to let Josh go if someone else offers him a better deal. That’s what they did a year ago with CJ Wilson and that’s what they’ll do here.
More from the presser: Daniels said no decisions have been made yet on coaching staff, the 2013 plans for Michael Young haven’t been discussed and that everyone in the organization accepts responsibility for the disappointing way the season ended. Washington admitted he probably played his regulars too hard and could have rested them more in the summer to keep them fresher for the stretch drive. He also said, despite a disappointing season, he still has faith that 2nd baseman Ian Kinsler can still do the job.
Reading between the lines, I think there will be casualties among the Rangers coaching staff, with hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh being the top candidate to face the chopping block. Young’s fate likely rests on the outcome of the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes. If Hamilton goes, Young stays and vice versa. Daniels is right about everyone taking responsibility and should be lauded for including himself. After all, while the moves he made during the season were all considered the right ones, the fact is they didn’t work out. Roy Oswalt. Ryan Dempster. Geovany Soto.
For Wash’s part, I applaud him for addressing his fault of playing his regulars into the ground, but it won’t be enough for his detractors. Human nature, you know. You just want someone to admit they made a mistake. Then, when they do, you jump up and say, “See, that just proves what an idiot he is!” Fans. Gotta love them. Especially since I’m a fan (but a pro-Wash one).
Surprisingly, Mike Napoli’s impending free agency was not discussed during this press conference.
Two last tidbits. Daniels said the Rangers likely will carry a slightly larger payroll than they did this year. And Daniels said the Rangers still aren’t in a rebuilding phase. That’s a strong message, telling the faithful “Even if we lose Josh Hamilton, we’re planning on reloading for 2014.” Of course, that could also mean Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar aren’t in the 2013 season plans.
It’s going to be an interesting off-season. I can’t wait to see how they’re planning to remold this team.
Time is running out to win! Entry deadline is now August 31, 2012!!!
Thanks to the folks at A+E Home Entertainment/MLB Productions, five lucky readers will win this DVD set for your home!
NOLAN RYAN’S SEVENTH NO-HITTER vs. TOR, May 1, 1991
1986 ALDS GAME 1 vs. NYY, Oct 1, 1996
2010 ALCS GAME 6 vs. NYY, October 22, 2010
2011 ALCS GAME 6 vs. DET, October 15, 2011
Enter for your chance to win your own copy. One entry per e-mail address. Contest ends August 31, 2012. Winners names will be drawn randomly on September 4th, the day after Labor Day. Enter today and good luck!
If you’d rather just order your own copy, just go to the web site here: http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13156454&cp=2366583.2498452
The Rangers still haven’t won the World Series yet, but there are some essential highlights every Rangers fan should own! Now you have a chance to win a DVD set of your own!
Thanks to the folks at A+E Home Entertainment/MLB Productions, five lucky readers will win this DVD set for your home!
NOLAN RYAN’S SEVENTH NO-HITTER vs. TOR, May 1, 1991: Almost 18 years after spinning his first no-hitter, Nolan Ryan punched out 16 batters to notch his record 7th no-no.
1986 ALDS GAME 1 vs. NYY, Oct 1, 1996: The Rangers rode into the first postseason game in franchise history and displayed their trademark power defeating the New York Yankees, 6-2.
2011 ALCS GAME 6 vs. DET, October 15, 2011: A history-making offensive outburst propelled the Rangers to their second consecutive American League Pennant.
If you’d rather just order your own copy, just go to the web site here: http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13156454&cp=2366583.2498452
Or You can enter for your chance to win your own copy. One entry per e-mail address. Contest ends October 3, 2012. Winners names will be drawn randomly on October 4th, the day after the end of the 2012 regular season. Enter today and good luck!
The Texas Rangers are still looking for their first World Series Championship, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been highlights over their 40 years of existence (51 if you include the Washington Senators years). If you had to choose, what four games would you consider the most essential for any Rangers fan to have in their collection?
The folks at A&E TV and Major League Baseball have made their decision and have released the official MLB DVD “The Essential Games of the Texas Rangers”. This 4-DVD set contains the complete game broadcast of four games considered the top games in Rangers history. In chronological order, they are: Nolan Ryan‘s 7th no-hitter on May 1, 1991; The Rangers first post-season game and first post-season win, October 1, 1996 against the New York Yankees; Game 6 of the ALCS against the Yankees October 22, 2010; and Game 6 of the ALCS against the Detroit Tigers October 15, 2011.
I’ve browsed through the set and it certainly brings back fond memories of all those games. The last two games are freshest in my mind. Of all the games, probably the best for me was the 2010 ALCS Game 6 against the Yankees, the game that sent the Rangers to the World Series for the first time. I guarantee I will wear out that DVD just playing Neftali Feliz‘ slider that caught A-Rod looking for the final out and seeing the ensuing celebration. Brandon Inge’s pop-out to first to end Game 6 in 2011 just doesn’t compare.
The fun ones to view are the older games. If I have one quibble, it is this: Nolan Ryan’s 7th career no-hitter features the Toronto Blue Jays TV crew and not the Rangers crew. I honestly don’t remember if the Rangers were on TV that night. Back in ’91, they didn’t necessarily broadcast every single game like they do today, so if that’s why they used the Blue Jays crew, I’m OK with it. Still, it is a bit weird to see this highlight in Rangers history being presented from the viewpoint of the opposing team. The Blue Jays broadcast crew consisted of Don Chevrier, Tommy Hutton and Fergie Olver. Some of the interesting stuff about this game was one of the Blue Jays’ sponsors: Game Genie, the video game enhancement system. Does anybody remember Game Genie? You attached it to your video game before you plugged it into your system and it cracked cheat codes for you. The graphics they used on the TV broadcasts then were pretty funny. They were all VERY large. Tidbit I didn’t know before: In the early part of the broadcast, Tommy Hutton said the reason the Rangers sent Pete Incaviglia to the Detroit Tigers was because manager Bobby Valentine couldn’t stand him. All these years as a Rangers fan and that was the first time I’d heard that.
The DVD I like the best from a broadcasting standpoint was the 1996 ALDS opener against the New York Yankees. Not only was it the Rangers first-ever post-season game, the broadcast team put together by NBC was great: Bob Costas on play-by-play, with color commentary from Joe Morgan and Bob Uecker. It was kind of funny hearing Costas talking about the Yankees bullpen with “their great SET-UP MAN, Mariano Rivera.” The game was played shortly after the infamous Roberto Alomar spitting incident. Apparently there had been some kind of meeting by the MLB brass that day and Costas tossed it to sideline reporter Jim Gray to talk to MLB’s chief labor negotiator at the time, Randy Levine. Gray was younger but just as combative as he is today. In interviewing Levine, Gray said “MLB fumbles on itself time and time again”. Later he told Levine, “It seems as though MLB cowers to the Players Association every time.” I’ve just never been a fan of Gray’s style of questioning. It always seems more editorializing than questioning. Still, it was interesting to revisit the issue all these years later.
The 2010 ALCS game was called by TBS’ crew of Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling and John Smoltz. Johnson does not have much baseball play-by-play experience so it’s difficult to hear. Not as hard as the 2011 ALCS game, which was called on Fox by Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. I don’t mind Buck so much, but listening to McCarver these days is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Yes, he’s knowledgeable. He’s also older now and comes across more Tommy Lee Jones curmudgeon than insightful analyst. Ah, well. I still love watching the game, a 15-05 pasting of the Tigers to send the Rangers back to the World Series.
If I had any other negative, it would just be that I wish we could get a box set that has more than four games on it. I would’ve loved to have seen them include Kenny Rogers’ perfect game. Another one I’d pick, even though they haven’t won the World Series, would be Derek Holland’s two-hit gem against the Cardinals in Game 4 of the 2011 World Series.
All in all, “The Essential Games of the Texas Rangers” is an essential get for any diehard Rangers fan. You can order your set here: http://shop.mlb.com/product/index.jsp?productId=13156454&cp=2366583.2498452
I have more news about this box set to share with you. It will be announced in my next post.
Near as I can tell, LeRoy Neiman didn’t do any work for the Texas Rangers or of any players when they were with the Rangers. The only thing I’ve been able to definitively tell in an online search is Neiman did paint two pictures of players who at one time were Rangers. There’s this one of Nolan Ryan, painted before he was a Ranger when he was with the Houston Astros:
And there’s this one of another Hall of Famer, Gaylord Perry:
Maybe Rangers players weren’t on Neiman’s radar in his prime. Why would they be, after all, since the Rangers were the epitome of mediocre at that time? However, between baseball, basketball, boxing and just about every other major televised sport during my formative years in the 1970′s, the artwork of Neiman was found everywhere: on televised sporting events, in magazines, even on billboards. In the late 70′s, Neiman was arguably the most well-known living artist in the United States, rivaled only by Peter Max and Andy Warhol. I even have a vague recollection of him doing a painting live, maybe as part of a pre-game show, although I could be wrong about that.
Many men might also remember Neiman for his illustrations for Playboy Magazine, but it was his work with sports that I remember most. His style was unique and colorful. Realistic? No, he was no Norman Rockwell. Yet you could tell Neiman paid close attention to a player’s motion and captured the essence of it. Like most “commercial” artists, Neiman’s work probably elicited more comments along the lines of “That’s pretty cool” than those who would argue the juxtaposition of this and that and how the work it “speaks” to them.
LeRoy Neiman passed away yesterday at the age of 91. I’d rather thank him today for the beauty he brought to the world than write just another recap of a Rangers game. RIP, LeRoy. Your work was pretty cool to me.