Buck O'Neil gets the news about Jackie Robinson

Here's the Chapter 4 illustration for the Notable Missourian book on Buck O'Neil.

While Buck was serving in the Pacific he got the news about Jackie Robinson getting signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Black players finally being "welcomed" into the major leagues was a big deal; it also meant the inevitable death of the Negro League which had become a celebrated contributor to black culture.  Still, Buck and most of the country was thrilled.  Finally, the best could play with the best.

This illustration is for the Notable Missourian book on Buck O'Neil, published by Truman State University Press.

Final Art

Final Art

Rough sketch

Rough sketch

Barnstorming Baseballers

This illustration is for chapter 2 of the Notable Missourian book on Buck O'Neil by Truman State University Press.  Many early Negro League teams would "barnstorm" small towns to play baseball against local company teams or other Negro League teams.  The towns loved this because they weren't often able to watch high caliber major league players, and in every sense the negro league players were exactly that.  It is still commonly believed that some of the best players to ever play baseball were likely in the negro leagues.

Anywho I'm on a tangent!  I've been on a Ken Burns kick and am smack in the middle of the Baseball series which dovetails nicely with this book about Buck O'Neil.  This illustration shows Buck and a bunch of his teammates driving to the next small Florida town where they have a game scheduled.  If one of the cars would break down, the guys would have to all cram into a single car to make it to their destination. Some of the guys would even stand on the running boards and ride on the outside of the car! Now that's dedication.

Rough Sketch

Rough Sketch

Buck O'Neil!

Here's some more Notable Missourian artwork for a book on baseball legend Buck O'Neil (published by Truman State University Press).  This illustration shows young Buck and some friends watching a baseball game through a fence.  

Final Art

Final Art

Approved rough sketch.  I ended up moving the fence and the ball field up for the final art.

Approved rough sketch.  I ended up moving the fence and the ball field up for the final art.

Alternate rough sketch

Alternate rough sketch

Another alternate sketch   

Another alternate sketch