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 hall of famer series 

Babe Ruth:
The piece that started it all

December 2007

Every year I create a Christmas card for Triple Play Design. In 2005, I started a series of Hall of Fame baseball players. My first thought was to maintain the same style throughout the series and I picked Babe Ruth to kick it off. I wanted to be experimental with the piece — do something I had not tried nor been asked to do. Keeping everything simple was the key. The piece is built in Adobe Illustrator and a texture was created in Photoshop to place over the infield dirt areas. 

 

Most years I enter my Christmas cards in the local ADDY Awards Competition. This piece won a Judges Award — the highest award I had won up to that time and I was not there to accept it. My daughter was performing in her elementary school talent show that night! Couldn't miss that!

Jackie Robinson:
The second in a series

November 2008

To continue the series, who better than Jackie Robinson? 

Cy Young:
Experimentation

November 2010

Henry Aaron:
The decision to change styles

November 2009

A mixed style using Photoshop and Illustrator filters. The finished piece is an Illustrator file.

I worked on two other Hall of Fame pieces for this season's Christmas card — Ted Williams and Joe Dimaggio — based on the same style as the previous two. Nearly completed both of them, too, when I decided they were just not what I wanted.

 

Again, feeling the need to experiment, I opened up Corel Painter and started noodling out this Hank Aaron image. The piece is a throwback to an earlier time when I worked with traditional pastels and mineral spirits.

Satchel Paige:
It's a process

September 2011

Pete Rose:
The anti-hall-of-famer

March 2011

Johnny Bench:
Back to the roots

September 2011

Lou Gehrig:
Introducing concept

September 2011

More experimentation using Photoshop and Illustrator filters.

1991 is the year Pete Rose most likely would have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, if it were not for a minor gambling issue. The concept here was to show the ugly side of Pete Rose. I did not try to make this piece pretty. I wanted to make a small statement about his lifetime ban from the game. I used his Phillies uniform for another ugly fact that players often leave the teams and cities that love them for greed and the promise of huge profits. If baseball ever changes their mind on Mr. Rose, I will rethink the piece and add a new one to the series.

 

This piece was not considered for a Christmas card mailer.

Johnny Bench was my favorite player on my favorite team. I created this painting with a combination of Corel Painter and Photoshop. The piece harkens back to the traditional pastel work done in years past. 

The art in this HOF Series have up to this point been pretty pictures of players. With the Lou Gehrig piece, I wanted an early image of the player with a tremendous career ahead of him and give it an ominus, dark feel of the tragic events to come. Then put in front of that a microphone reminiscent of the day he retired.

Josh Gibson:
Simplified

November 2011

Roberto Clemente:
Traditional media to computer generated

September 2011

Bob Feller:
Adding old pieces to the new series

September 2011

Rollie Fingers:
Undecided

September 2011

Mickey Mantle:
Yankee tradition

August 2014

Reggie Jackson:
Mr. October

August 2014

Larry Doby:
Variation on a theme

December 2013

Ty Cobb:
Mr. Tomato Head

August 2014

I wanted to go much simpler with this Josh Gibson piece using an unexpected color palette.

The original piece is hanging in my office. It's a pastel piece I did back in the 1990s. I wanted to add it to my series but felt it needed a modern technique to fit in.

The original piece was done for an Austin Printing calendar. They had me genericize the face and remove the Cleveland reference. For this series I used my original Corel Painter pastel art.

 

I met Bob Feller a few times. He signed a watercolor painting I did of him. And I have a photo of him with my son (circa 8-years-old).

A 1970s Oakland A's icon in another team's uniform. If you scratch the surface you get Oakland green.

Mickey Mantle just carried on that long Yankee tradition. So this illustration had to say tradition.

Reggie Jackson had swagger. I wanted to do a simple piece that had that cool vibe. Note the Oakland green that says he is an Athletic forever.

You could consider this the Revolver to Josh Gibson's Rubber Soul. This is very similar to my Gibson piece yet more detailed and refined. They were done two years apart.

So I'm watching the Ken Burns Baseball videos and was inspired to do this Ty Cobb piece. I wanted to portray him as this big, hot-head that no one could stand.

George Sisler:
Thoughts of an old friend

September 2014

Nolan Ryan:
For Thor

September 2014

I met Jeff Sisler at Smiley Hanchulak. He was hired one month after me back in 1990. Jeff would often help me out with production work for my freelance jobs — many stats and rubdowns if anyone remembers those. Jeff is a relative of George Sisler and I wanted to pay honor to Jeff with George.

 

Jeff wasn't very happy when Ichiro broke the single-season hit record.

This used to be a goto style for me but in recent years has not been requested. I wanted to see if I still had it.

Inspired by one of my son's coaches. This is Thor's favorite all-time player. I had to give the piece that late 70's flair.

Joe Morgan:
Abstraction

September 2014

Whose Next:
What's your thought?

Send me a Hall of Famer you'd like to see!

That's me behind that mask! Send me your thoughts.

You can reach me at eric@TriplePlayDesign.com.

This used to be a goto style for me but in recent years has not been requested. I wanted to see if I still had it.

Cal Ripken:
The NEW Iron Horse

December 2015

I've been thinking about a Cal Ripken image for some time. I expected it to be more minimalist than it turned out.