Jose Batista, Angels, Baseball discussed on Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast
Host Meg rally of fan graphs who is on vacation traveling for the holidays. I'm not traveling until a little later this week and so I am with you today. Yesterday I started a podcast mini series of episodes devoted to conversations with baseball creators who do work mainly in a medium other than writing or podcasting, so on episode 1787 I talked to the baseball YouTuber Bailey Freeman of foolish baseball next time I'll talk to another surprise guest. But now it's time for the middle episode of this series, so let me introduce today's artist. I'm joined now by Greg krinkle, who is known as the painter of the national pastime, which I believe is a trademark term, but it's one he laid claim to with his work well before it was trademarked, Gregg, welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. Ben, I appreciate it. Well, I'm looking forward to talking to you about your work, which is wonderful. Thank you. Briefly, before we get to that and maybe this will be related to that, but last week, in a fit of lockout induced desperation, I was browsing through some old emails that we received years ago. And I came across one that we actually answered way back on episode 1346. This was almost three years ago and Sam Miller and I talked about it then, and I don't remember what we said, so I might say something completely different now. And newly relevant, I think, because of something that's in the news that I'll mention in a moment. But I thought you'd be an interesting person to ask about this because so much of your work is concerned with history and memory and representation of things gone by. So this question was asked by a listener named Andrew, who said it was announced recently recently then not recently now that new blue Jay Freddie galvis would be changing his uniform number in tribute to Jose Batista once he discovered that the number he had been assigned 19 was once Batista's, Jose Batista, a subject of your hip hop. Meanwhile, new Tiger Josh Harrison recently decided to wear number one in tribute to Lou Whitaker, which do you think is a more fitting tribute to deliberately wear someone's number or to deliberately not wear it? And this was on my mind this week because this came up with the angels who recently signed Noah cinder card and syndergaard who's a Texas native has been wearing 34 for his whole career in honor of Nolan Ryan and 34 was Nick ain't hearts number with the angels, the great young pitcher and prospect who tragically was killed at 22 and no one with the angels has worn the number 34 since. And so centaur evidently considered or was open to changing the number, but the angels and Aidan hearts family approved of him bringing it back into circulation. And so there's been a bit of a conversation about that and the best way to honor someone like Aidan hart. So do you have any thoughts on the subject, whether specific to the angels or just in general? Oh, man. I mean, that is such a such an interesting question. The thing is, I think, in my head, if somebody is not wearing a player's number, you know, if synagogue does not necessarily want to wear Aidan hearts number you know, I take that as this sign of reverence, you know? Which I guess, if you decide to wear someone's number in honor of them, it's also in reverence or at least appreciation. It's really hard to kind of pick which one is more of a tribute. I mean, obviously I guess in this case, you know, the fact that that ain't hearts family is given their blessings that adds a bit to the story. And I think it would kind of, I don't know, maybe it helps synagogue's decision, but oh man, it's hard, you know? Like with the stuff that I do, the paintings that I do, the numbers are kind of just. It's like the numbers are just kind of a byproduct of where you are in the batting rotation. It's like back then, that stuff wasn't really thought of in this way. Yeah. So yeah, I wish I could offer a black and white answer, but I don't know. I kind of feel like choosing to not wear something in somebody's honor is maybe a bit more of a tribute. That's kind of where that's kind of where my heart goes. Like, it's more, I don't know. Yeah, I think that it kind of depends on the motivation, maybe. And either can be okay if it is done with the right frame of mind. I mean, if you're coming in and saying, this guy wasn't worthy of the number. And so I'm going to wear it now because I deserve it more screw that guy than obviously that is not a tribute to that player. But if you're saying, well, I want to bring him back into the public memory and keep his memory active and alive, then I understand it. And that's sort of what Aidan hertz stepfather said in this article that Sam Blum of the athletic wrote he said we appreciate the type of pitcher that syndergaard is and the type of competitor that he is, I think, hopefully it will spark some conversations. There's a generation of baseball fans who don't know who Nick is and don't know Nick's story and 13 years later it might be time that sparks a conversation of, hey, this was Nick kayden hertz, sometimes you can make the legacy go on by wearing the number and putting it out there in public. And it has sparked this conversation that we are having right now. I hadn't talked about or really even thought about Nick kayden hart for a little while and this has made me think of him. So yeah, there you go. It worked, I guess. And it depends. Obviously, if you have a team that retires numbers and you're hanging the number in the rafters, then it's still present. It's still visible and it's in front of your face. Someone make Aidan hurt, you know, he sadly only pitched four games for the angels. And so would not be a traditional number retiree. But if you are all time great with a franchise and you have a monument park sort of set up and people can go and remember that and it's conspicuous in its absence. No one is wearing this number and then you're constantly reminded of why that is, then I think that can be a great tribute. But if it's someone who's sort of slipped through the cracks and hasn't had their number retired for whatever reason, it is maybe faded out of you a little bit, and you can bring it back and even if you're saying, hey, I think this should be retired, but as long as it's not, I'm going to wear it and remind people about this..