Flip Flop Flying

Archive for the ‘Baseball’ Category

3,156: A little bit of Mexico City

with 2 comments

I feel like I should do this every now and then: some Mexico City stuff. So here’s a metro station, and three street signs. I would love to live on two of those streets.

I like how the older street signs have the English spelling of the sport, rather than the Spanish.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
LCD Soundsystem yet again. New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
West Berlin

Self-promotion
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter

Minecraft Project Day 65
Right then. Let’s get in the Nether portal.

Here we go….

And here we are. The Nether!

Oh, ffs. Shot by a ghast.

And…

Y’know what? I think it’s time to stop with these Minecraft updates. It’s silly. Dying in the Nether feels like a good place to stop. Mostly, I think, because I get to the stage in a new Minecraft project where I’m a little bored of the house/garden that I’m working on, and just wanna start a new one. The next stage of this current project is basically gonna be spending a couple of (Minecraft) weeks mining. Getting more and more supplies. Which is boring for you. Very. I’m also mildly embarrassed about each blog post having this rubbish at the bottom. I should be promoting the blog posts on Twitter and such, but I don’t because of that embarrassment. That’s unlikely to change, so the best thing is to ditch the Minecraft. I’m enjoying blogging again, so I don’t want anything to retard that feeling. If you liked the Minecraft stuff, by any chance: sorry. The blog will be better because of it, I’m pretty sure of that. I am, though, enjoying the structure of having a main bit, a drawing, the song, a Wikipedia thing. I will keep doing that, and maybe that will evolve over time, too.

Written by Craig

November 25th, 2016 at 4:15 pm

3,140: Pixelly things

without comments

I had this lettering knocking around for a month or so. I was playing around the levels of pixelation, making 4×4 blocks as one “pixel” but occasionally subdividing those blocks so that I could cut them in half diagonally. It was an idea to have pixelly lettering that was inspired by being in Mexico, really. Inspired in the way perfumes are described, rather than inspired in the Mark Ronson sense of making something sound like other music from the past.

Once I’d done the lettering, I played with the colours and arranged the name of this city (and country) like this: ME-XI-CO. (Fun fact: the name of the city came before the name of the country, which is why the local baseball team is Diablos Rojos del México. It’s referring to the city, not the country.)

I was playing around with the letters again at the weekend and got to thinking about this thing we have here called bardas de baile. People paint brightly coloured band names on walls, advertising forthcoming concerts. (More info here.)

Here’s some photos that I took near the baseball stadium:

So, I added a wall to my ME-XI-CO lettering, a pavement, some weeds, the edge of the road (still playing around with pixelly abstraction). But it needed something else. I added skeletons wearing the uniforms/kits of the four main sports teams in the city: the aforemented baseball team, and the three football teams, Cruz Azul, Club América, and Pumas.

After doing three Mexican football team kits, I couldn’t really resist completing the set, and doing the home kits of the other teams in the Liga MX. These are laid out (very roughly) geographically.

And at that point, of course, I had to do the Premier League.

We’ve been here before. Here’s a whole load more of these from days gone by. I did MLB uniforms every season from 2010 to 2013. I did NFL uniforms in 2010, Premier League kits of the 2010-11 season, and Liverpool kits from 1965 up until last season (note to self: update this). In a slightly different style, I did the top four divisions in England/Wales, the Scottish Premier League, and Liga MX here.

Right. Time for me to go update that Liverpool kit history, cos it’ll burn a hole in my brain if I don’t get it done now…

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
This has been here five times over the past two years. Not as much as I thought, actually, cos it’s one of those songs that I only need a whiff of for it to get stuck in my brain. All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor, the modern day Alanis Morissette (in terms of always having to check if I’ve spelled her name right).

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Patagonia

Self-promotion
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter

Minecraft Project Day 11
Today was a supplies day. I dug some sand so I can make glass for the windows, and I decided that the roof of my cabin is gonna be darker spruce wood, so I had to get a load of that, too.

On the way back from the spruce forest, I got a nice look at my cabin from a distance. S’gunna be good, uguyz.

Tonight’s gonna be my last night in my cave shelter, so while I turn sand into glass in the furnace, I’m packing some stuff. It’ll take a couple of trips, but it’s not too far.

Written by Craig

November 7th, 2016 at 9:38 am

3,138: Cubs

without comments

Well, that was fun wasn’t it? Here’s some graphics.

A simple one of every game of the Cubs’s season. (Prints)

Another one of the tree ring things. (Prints)

And one for Cleveland. (Prints)

And one for all 30 teams. (Prints)

A wee bit of artwork

Other business
Around the corner, I saw this restored, old taxi. This is how the taxis in Mexico City were in the 1950s and 60s. Taxis here have changed colour three times since my first visit. They were green and white, then dark red and gold, and now they’re pink and white. I once asked a taxi driver why this was, and he just said one word: “money.” Here’s a Mexican newspaper’s slideshow of even more of this city’s taxis over the decades.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Ink by Coldplay

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Creep (deformation)

Self-promotion
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter

Minecraft Project Day 9
This is where my cabin’s gonna go.

I needed to flatten up the land a bit and clear out some trees first, though, which took the whole day.

By the end of the day, though, I got my first view of the sunset which will soon be my view every evening.

Written by Craig

November 3rd, 2016 at 9:08 am

3,136: Baseball

without comments

Back in January, I made a conscious decision to have a pause in my baseball site, Flip Flop Fly Ball. I really needed to stop feeling the self-applied pressure to keep doing stuff that, at the time, I didn’t really want to be doing. The break was a good thing. I’d got to a point where I wasn’t actually enjoying baseball that much any more because of the site. I was still going to Diablos Rojos games, and it was really nice to only do that. To not think all the time. I still was doing the occasional drawing, but that was because baseball was a part of my life, not because I wanted to do baseball drawings.

A couple of months ago, a print I was selling on my Society6 shop was withdrawn because someone (I suspect it was the MLB Players Association, but I can’t be sure cos society6 didn’t tell me) made a copyright infringement claim. This is the offending image. I can kinda understand their point. They represent baseball players, and I’ve done drawings of them. A bunch of them. But, I would suggest that my drawing (below) is nothing more than a visual history of Major League Baseball. It is not an attempt to make money off of Albert Pujols or anyone else.

This pissed me off. A lot. From sales of that print on Society6, I’d made less money than it costs to subscribe to MLB.tv for a year. A thing I’ve been subscribing to for eleven years. Fuck MLB, fuck MLBPA (or whoever it was), and fuck baseball*. And that, dear readers, was a good place to get to in my head. To step fetishising baseball. It’s just a game. A game I enjoy, but ultimately, just a game.

*There is an entirely separate blog post to be done about my annoyances with the Diablos Rojos, but I’ll save that for another time.

And after slowly calming down (and it took a few weeks), it kinda felt like I’d made a good thing out of a shitty thing in my head. My distain for them still exists, but I’m not gonna let it stop me enjoying baseball. And that freedom from unwavering respect has allowed me to want to do stuff again. So, yes, long story short: Flip Flop Fly Ball is back as a going concern.

I’ve added all the baseball-related drawings and stuff I’ve done over the past nine months, and going forward: I’ll do stuff as and when. Looking back at the stuff I’ve done during the hiatus, I’ve been doing a couple of things every month anyway, and that more (internally) relaxed pace is probably how things will continue.

Anyway, here’s some recent baseball-y, World Series-related stuff. A couple of drawings of pitchers, John Lackey and Andrew Miller:

And one of Jon Lester as a snowman:

And a pixelly papel picado-style thing:

And some data art. First, something about last year’s World Series (bigger here).

Blue represents a Royals lead, orange represents a Mets lead, grey represents a tie. The width of the rings represents a number of plate appearances. This is way more data art than infographic. The kinda vagueness of the graphic representation of information is a deliberate choice.

And here’s a big big project that I’m calling Tree Rings, about every team’s history. There are two teams missing from this project right now, due to the fact that they’re in the World Series. Each ring represents a year since 1903, (the first World Series season, apart from expansion teams which begin at their first seasons), from the centre outwards. The colours are, obviously, of the specific teams. Grey rings represent seasons without any postseason success. The darker the colour represents a level of postseason play. World Series victories are usually represented in a different colour. Here’s three examples. The rest are here.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Work from Home by Fifth Harmony. Yay!

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
LEGO

Self-promotion
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter

Minecraft Project Day 7
Leaving to get more wood, first thing I see a creeper. I let him explode in this nice flat area so you can see the damage he does. He is, for want of a better phrase, a suicide bomber.

Getting some more birch. If the chopped down tree drops a sapling, I like to replant it in the same place. Good to the environment, me.

If there are big open holes near where I’m living, I like to put a block with a light on top near the entrance so that a) I’m aware it’s there if I’m nearby at night, and b) there might be good mining stuff down there, so it’s essentially a Post-it note.

Wahey! Look at that! A zombie kid riding a sheep!

Some more scouting for a place to build my cabin.

Sun goin’ town, time to head back to my hole.

Oops, there’s a zombie comin’ at me.

Oh bugger, now there’s two of them, the attacks are depleting my health badly (the red hearts).

Shit. Slain by zombies. It should be noted that one of the reasons that happened is because I spent precious seconds making sure I got screen shots of the zombie attack that could’ve been used better, ie. defending myself. Anyway, I respawned back at my hidey hole (you always respawn at the last place you slept) with none of the goodies I had in my inventory, that is to say, all the stuff I was carrying when I died.

Written by Craig

November 1st, 2016 at 10:31 am

3,134: C

without comments

Watching the Cubs-Cleveland game the other night, I was thinking about the Cubs logo on the hats. The cut-out bit of the C: what’s the angle?

I like the logo. It’s simple and would be a perfect circle if not a C:

I was kinda hoping that the angle of the cut-out bit of the C (is there a name for that bit, typography fans?) would be a right angle, thus echoing the first and third base lines of a baseball diamond.

Sadly not. But this is what it would look like if it were:

And here’s a drawing I did of Wednesday’s Cubs pitcher, Jake Arrieta.

Other business
A local taqueria’s Hallowe’en decoration.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Atom Heart Mother again this morning, so here’s the one that was in my head when I woke up last Saturday: Drag Me Down by One Direction.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Scotch Tape

Self-promotion
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter

Minecraft Project Day 5
More lighting up of the caves, a skeleton shooting arrows at me is a minor inconvenience.

And back to the suspected dungeon I found yesterday. This is probably a really inefficient way of dealing with dungeons, but I like to dig out all the material around the outside of a dungeon, so that I can move around and dig out one block holes in the dungeon walls (monsters need at least two vertical blocks to get through a hole.)

Yep, it’s a dungeon with a zombie spawner in the middle. First things first, is to kill the nearby zombies with my sword, then drop torches in there. Monsters spawn in the dark, as mentioned before. The more light in there, the less zombies are gonna need dealing with once I cut a hole big enough for me to get through. (The brown chunks in the third picture are rotten flesh which drop when you kill a zombie. Not for eatin’, but if you tame a wolf to be your pet, you can feed the rotten flesh to them. They love it)

Hola, horsey!

Lastly, a bit more biggening of my room before beddy byes.

Written by Craig

October 28th, 2016 at 10:18 am

3,133: Raymonde and Lola

without comments













You can see it a bit bigger, should you desire, here.

The idea behind this was to try and do a picture story about the process of doing a picture story. It’s been around as a vague idea for a couple of years. At that point, the idea was purely what I wrote in the first sentence here, and the idea that he starts off going the wrong way. I sat down a couple of days ago and bashed out a script. Edited the next day. Then drew it. The names Raymonde and Lola were the first names that came into my head. And, just in case you follow my work and recognise the character, I did a drawing of him a couple of years ago (May 2014) using Brushes on the iPad.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Go, Cubs, Go! by Steve Goodman. I’m a little surprised it’s taken this long to have a sports-y song crop up. For the amount of ad breaks on F*x Sports, and the same ugly music they play going into each break, I assumed that piece of shit would’ve been in my head before. But thankfully, no. But, obviously, the Cubs have been on telly more than usually the last coupla weeks. Thus this song’s appearance.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Helvetica

Self-promotion
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter

Minecraft Project Day 4
First things first: more food. Sorry piggies.

Then a bit more exploring of the cave system. See them mossy cobble blocks? They’re possibly a bad sign. Behind there there could be a dungeon, which will contain a monster spawner. They’re a pain in the arse, but there are usually a couple of chests with free stuff inside.

First thing I do in a cave system is light it up. I don’t bother mining until there is light everywhere. Monsters spawn in dark areas, y’see. Last thing you want right behind you when you’re grabbing some iron ore is a creeper blowing himself up and taking you with him.

Oh look, it’s raining.

Last bit of work before returning home, put some lights out around the entrance to my cave. Same thing as above, really: keep the monsters away as much as possible at this early stage, and it’s also good if I’m out and about when it gets dark. I can find home easier.

A bit of mining for cobblestone inside my shelter before bedtime, which will also give me a little bit more space so I’m living in something a little less like a prison cell.

Written by Craig

October 27th, 2016 at 8:24 am

Warning track

without comments

Written by Craig

September 19th, 2016 at 9:26 pm

Between the poles

without comments

Each line represents the area between foul poles at all 30 MLB ballparks (in alphabetically order: Arizona at the top, Washington at the bottom).

Prints available: https://society6.com/product/between-the-poles_print

Written by Craig

September 18th, 2016 at 10:14 pm

Posted in Artwork,Baseball

Beer and a dog

without comments

If you’re interested, you can get a print of this (and some of my other drawings) here:
https://society6.com/flipflopflying

Written by Craig

April 30th, 2016 at 11:12 am

Posted in Artwork,Baseball

Ebony and ivory

without comments

Written by Craig

April 20th, 2016 at 11:39 am

Posted in Baseball

Felix + Clayton

without comments

Written by Craig

April 20th, 2016 at 11:35 am

Posted in Baseball

Metres, y’all, metres

without comments

Written by Craig

February 2nd, 2016 at 7:16 am

Flip Flop Fly Ball hiatus

with 4 comments

Self-sabotage is something I’m fairly used to. My brain sees things and goes, “Nope, I’m gonna fuck this up on purpose.” There was a point where I stopped blogging. Actually, that happened twice. Both time I stopped, slowly got back into it and found that each time, the audience has gotten noticeably smaller. Entirely own fault. I stopped using Facebook last year, and deleted the Flip Flop Flyin’ page from there, too. I’d half expected the people who followed my work there to shift, but as far as I can tell, that’s not happened. My own fault, and in hindsight, totally understandable. In the electronic age, me saying “follow me on my blog, not on Facebook anymore” is pretty much like releasing a movie on Betamax.

I think that something that ended up being self-sabotage was entirely unexpected: getting into baseball. This happened over ten years ago. Because of that ten year anniversary last summer (Twins vs. Yankees, Yankee Stadium, New York, 27 July 2005) I’ve thought a lot about the ten years that baseball has existed for me. It took about four years for it to really take over, though. When I split off the sport-y stuff from Flip Flop Flyin’ into its own site, Flip Flop Fly Ball, it was purely to allow the FFF followers to look at my drawings without having to wade through baseball-related stuff. But, there was an unexpectedly large amount of interest in FFFB, and pretty soon I found myself with a contract to do a book about baseball.

And that was it for a few years. Looking at the archive on Flip Flop Flyin’, I still did non-baseball stuff, but I did a lot more baseball-related stuff on Flip Flop Fly Ball. That began to swing back last year. I kinda felt that I had less and less to say about baseball. I still enjoyed it, still went to Diablos Rojos games, but on the whole, I was enjoying just enjoying it; it not being part of my “career.” And personally, that has been a rewarding change. I’ve enjoyed doing and concentrating more on art than baseball. Baseball is a hobby. And I very much like having that as a hobby. So much of the Flip Flop Fly Ball stuff was about learning and trying to understand a sport and culture that were alien to me. By the time the book came out I began to feel like I was a part of the baseball world; certainly the baseball corner of the Internet. I had carved out the niche-y-est of niches on Baseball Internet: The English Guy Who Watches Mexican Baseball.

Something else that probably can’t be ignored is the timing of things. At a point when my personal life was an absolute shambles, I had baseball and I had infographics to distract me. It was very very helpful to think about statistics and facts, organising information into neat infographics at a time when my mental state was the exact opposite: unorganised and emotional. If I read a book about the 1970s Cincinnati Reds then I don’t have to think about my failing personal life. If I investigate the history of early 20th century players, I can distract myself from the fact that I am miserable every day.

But, there’s only so long you can fool yourself. Several cities and loads of apartments later and I’m still not mentally splendid, but it’s time to stop distracting myself. Which is one of the reasons why I’m not gonna be doing much baseball stuff on Flip Flop Fly Ball for the foreseeable future. I’m not killing it off, as much as that is tempting, but I am also not gonna feel guilty anymore about not updating it more regularly. If I want to do something, I will, and if I don’t I won’t. That may mean there’s nothing for a few months or for a year. It’s also possible that this simple act of writing about it might free up my mind enough to not feel any pressure to keep going with the site, and stuff might come flooding out. I don’t know. But right now, Flip Flop Fly Ball is on an indefinite hiatus.

Written by Craig

January 17th, 2016 at 1:10 pm

Posted in Baseball,Blah blah

My Wurld Serees logo

without comments

Written by Craig

October 28th, 2015 at 8:56 am

Posted in Artwork,Baseball

Messing around with baseball stuff

without comments

Evan Gattis’s head on Tom Jones’ body:

Cal Ripken’s eyes:

José Bautista’s beard-o-clava:

Written by Craig

October 17th, 2015 at 8:05 am

Posted in Artwork,Baseball

My tribute to the 2015 MLB Division Series

without comments

Written by Craig

October 13th, 2015 at 9:23 am

Posted in Baseball,Silly,Sports

Chicago Cubes (or Rubik’s Cubs)

without comments

Written by Craig

October 13th, 2015 at 9:22 am

Posted in Baseball,Sports

Cap

with one comment

I love seeing dudes go to a game straight from work, wearing a cap with their office clothes.

Written by Craig

September 21st, 2015 at 9:21 am

Scarecrowsnowman

without comments

Written by Craig

September 9th, 2015 at 1:49 pm

Posted in Baseball,Blah blah

Game seven

without comments

So, there was a game seven. Diablos lost.

At the end of game six, the stadium announcer told us that tickets for the seventh and deciding game in the series would go on sale at 11am the following day (Wednesday). One of the benefits of being freelance is being able to massage your work day a little and nip out to buy tickets for baseball games. I arrived at the stadium at 9.30am. There was already well over 200 people in the queue. I was very thankful I had a backlog of Radiolabs and This American Lifes on my iPod.

It was a boring time. Achey feet. Four-and-a-half hours in line in total. People would have a wander around and come back with different reports of what was going on. That they’d sold out of all the seats in the infield. Or that they only had solo seats left (ie people not being able to sit together). And once I got to the ticket window, at just gone 2pm, there weren’t many seats left, but still enough to have families of four sitting together.

Back home, I looked in the mirror and saw I had a bit of sunburn on my left arm and neck. It was weirdly exhausting standing in a line for a long time. I took my shoes off, got into bed and relaxed for a couple of hours. At that point, I was very comfortable with the idea of the Diablos losing the game. The thought of any more games, any more queuing for tickets, had drained a lot of the joy of baseball from me.

And when I did get back to the ballpark, an hour before the start of the game, it was pretty subdued. It stayed that way for two or three innings. The crowd, it seemed, all felt the same as me. Then, after taking a 2-1 lead in the first inning, the Toros de Tijuana got five more runs in the top of the third. Diablos 7-1 down. When the first batter came out for the bottom of the third, the atmosphere perked up. It was like we all individually and simultaneously realised: we have to get into this now!

A run in the bottom of the third. 7-2.
A run in the bottom of the fifth. 7-3.
Two runs in the bottom of the sixth. 7-5.
A run in the bottom of the eighth. 7-6.

Close, but not enough.

I’m not a good loser. I hate seeing the other team celebrate. When the last ball flew into the glove of the Tijuana centre fielder, I turned my head and looked away and then at the floor.

The season was over. It began with Tijuana beating the Diablos on opening day. It ended with Tijuana beating the Diablos in game seven of the quarter-finals. In between those two games, the Diablos were by far the best team in the league. That’s what I want to remember from this season.

Diablos Rojos del México, Best Team in the Mexican League, 2015.

Written by Craig

August 28th, 2015 at 6:25 am

Posted in Baseball