John Donaldson
John Donaldson
ceramic w/ wood
18 x 25
Collection of the John Donaldson Network

John Donaldson was one of the greatest pitchers in the early days of the Negro Leagues. A southpaw, he exhibited superb control combined with a sharp-breaking curve. Playing with the All Nations team in Des Moines, Iowa, Donaldson is credited with being the best pitcher in black baseball during the early and mid-teens. He once pitched three consecutive no-hitters in 1913.
When the Negro National League was organized in 1920, Donaldson was picked up by the Kansas City Monarchs. As Donaldson approached his thirties, with his his arm waning, he was utilized on the field and at the plate, owing to his bunting ability, speed and smooth fielding skills. Donaldson played into his forties and formed his own touring team near the end of his playing career called the John Donaldson All-Stars.
I painted this ceramic relief of Donaldson in colors reminiscent of the lithography of the early cigarette baseball cards of the day (albeit for white players only). The surrounding oak frame is both solid and elegant, like Donaldson's play on the field.