People often ask me why I do Chalk or Street Art, after all that’s a lot of work just to see it walked on or washed away. At most it lasts just a few weeks, but then it’s gone.
We see that in Baseball too. More times than not, nothing happens in a game that will make it memorable. No records will be set, no perfect moments or highlights, just another game in a long season of games. But that’s not the purpose of Baseball, or Art.
Both artists and players do what we do because we enjoy the process. We get our rewards by doing, and doing it at the highest level we possibly can. As a player I have two moments that stand out above all others;
One, in college I was playing in an intramural softball game. I had been struggling at the plate. I was making contact, but I couldn’t buy a hit to save my life. We were playing our closest rival and all bragging rights were on the line. As I approached the plate to hit in a crucial situation, our manager called time out. Our manager had been one of my closest friends since junior high school, and we shared the same dorm room then. He tells me that the other guys on the team want him to pinch hit for me. Then he asks me, “Can you get a hit?” My girlfriend was there watching, all I could think of was how humiliating this could end up. I could get benched, or I could fail to reach base safely again. Something came over me and I told my friend, “Do what you have to do, but I can hit this guy. My friend let me hit, and hit I did. My one and only home run, ever. And my girlfriend and I shared a very special night that night.
The second came almost 35 years later. The semi-pro Baseball team I was managing had been asked to assist at a Client Batting Practice, being hosted by the Colorado Rockies, at Coors Field. So here I am, playing shortstop, and fielding balls hit by participants in the camp. A former Division 1, college player stepped to the plate. He hit a laser, and it was coming right at my head. I remember watching the ball, and it was snaking, and it was coming fast. I don’t know how but I got my glove up and made the play. It was a perfect moment, and I’ll never forget it.
Chalk Art is much the same. When you do it, and do it right, it lives on in you and those others who see it. And isn’t that what it’s all about in art as well as Baseball?