1999 mixed media w/ found objects 10 x 12 Collection of Negro Leagues Museum, Kansas City, MO Gift of Dr Robert Wedgeworth
Hilton Smith, a hard-throwing right-hander, was by all accounts the equal to his Kansas City Monarchs teammate Satchel Paige. But it was Paige who attracted most of the attention and publicity with his flamboyance contrasting against Smithâ€™s quiet demeanor. Smith possessed the best curveball in black baseball and posted 20-plus win seasons all twelve years he played with the Monarchs. He declined an offer to join the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948 at age 36 and retired with a lifetime pitching slate of 161-32.
This painting, representing some of my earlier work, shows Smith against a heavily collaged backdrop of vintage matchbook covers functioning as outfield fence billboards. This work shows the height of my â€śbillboardingâ€ť phase.