Following last year's Lou Thesz poster, I've finally got back around to my series of screenprints celebrating beloved St. Louis folk icons. This one depicts hometown South City boy turned outfielder turned 3rd baseman turned Voice of the Cardinals Mike Shannon.
He ostensibly earned the nickname "Moon Man" because of his long-ball homeruns; I heard he once apologized to owner Gussie Busch for breaking some of the outfield lights at old Sportsman's Park, (historical footnote: Shannon hit both the last homerun there, and the first at the new Busch Stadium in 1966) who replied "You keep breakin' them and I'll keep replacing them." When he was forced to put down the bat and pick up the microphone, his nickname has come to represent his broadcasting voice, equal parts sage baseball knowledge, an off-kilter cosmic logic, and hillbilly vernacular. This post from the sadly defunct Redbird Nation I think does a good job of explaining the appeal of the Moon Man, and of why I love baseball in general.
Here's a sketch of sorta how I wanted the poster to look, a portrait of Mike with microphone and a cold frosty one...
...surrounded by a bunch of classic "Shannonisms", which I copied down from a few different online archives, and a couple I wrote down right as he said them on-air while I was working on the sketches.
Here's the ink drawing. Note that the two big quotes in the moon itself are Shannon's two trademark phrases, "Get up Baby, GET UP!" being his home-run call, and "Ol' Abner's has done it again!" being his dedication to the "inventor of baseball" when the meat of the batting lineup is due up in the 9th inning of a close game.
And here's the final digital art, in 3 colors. Get a load of that fancy used-car salesman plaid sportsjacket pattern I did the separations for!
I did two print-runs, one of 75 handpulled prints with white, blue and red ink on 18x24" double-ply brown chipboard (the picture at the top of this post), and another of 25 on thicker greyer chipboard. I'll be selling these around town and in person (maybe at the gift shop at Mike Shannon's Steak and Seafood), but if you'd be interested one in the meantime let me know. I think I'm selling the two editions for $35 and $50 apiece, respectively.
Let's go you Redbirds!