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A mural project celebrating Muscotah's native son, baseball legend Joe Tinker, and the hutzpah shown by a small town with a big dream.
A mural project celebrating Muscotah's native son, baseball legend Joe Tinker, and the hutzpah shown by a small town with a big dream.
48 backers pledged $3,190 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

$3,190

48

Tinker, Evers, and Chance vintage baseball cards from the collection of the Library of Congress
Tinker, Evers, and Chance vintage baseball cards from the collection of the Library of Congress

Muscotah, Kansas, home to Joe Tinker, is on a multi-year mission to revitalize and rejuvenate their small town with some mighty big ideas.  

Big ideas like building the World's Largest Baseball.  Big ideas like establishing Joe Tinker Day and celebrating with an official proclamation and vintage Baseball Game at Tinker Field.  Big ideas like transforming their concession stand into a multi-panel mural celebrating Tinker's part in baseball history.  That's why we've been called up... 

The Brush League Brainstormers are on deck to paint a Tinker to Evers to Chance Celebratory Baseball Mural, drawing inspiration and design schemes from vintage baseball cards, historic images, and the legendary Tinker to Evers to Chance 6-4-3 double play.

WHERE IS MUSCOTAH? 

Muscotah is a volunteer-led town of 200 people in western Atchison County in rural northeast Kansas.

WHO IS JOE TINKER? 

Joe Tinker was born in Muscotah in 1880. He was the shortstop for the Chicago Cubs when they won the World Series in 1907 and 1908. The Cubs have not won the World Series since. Tinker was one-third of the famous double-play combination of Tinker to Evers to Chance. Johnny Evers and Frank Chance were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with Joe Tinker in 1946. 

Franklin Pierce Adams popularized the Tinker to Evers to Chance double play in the nation's second most popular baseball poem, "Baseball's Sad Lexicon."

WHERE WILL THE MURAL BE?

The mural will be located right next to Tinker Field, encompassing all sides of the adjacent concession stand.  By utilizing the multitude of surfaces as a canvas, the mural will lead viewers through a visual narrative of the history of Tinker and his place in baseball history at the dawn of the 20th century while illustrating the mechanics of the double play.  Hidden details will afford multiple discovery opportunities for viewers lining up to purchase their peanuts and Cracker Jack.

WHAT WILL THE MURAL LOOK LIKE?

We're drawing inspiration from vintage baseball cards, souvenir programs, newspaper illustrations, and typography from the early 1900s.  Images culled from the Library of Congress, private collections, and baseball source books will be reinterpreted and combined into an era-appropriate collage in a non-linear narrative format.  Colors and line styles will reference 1900 - 1915 baseball card designs. 

The Tinker to Evers to Chance Celebratory Baseball Mural is part of a larger Muscotah Project, started earlier this year by the Kansas Sampler Foundation.  This tiny town is dreaming big, and we're a good way 'round the bases to making some dreams come true.

HOW WOULD YOUR SUPPORT HELP?

Your support of the Tinker to Evers to Chance Celebratory Baseball Mural Kickstarter project goes directly into the physical production costs of the mural.  There's already been a massive effort to see the project realized (concession stand scraped, repaired, prepped, and primed). Now the Brush League Brainstormers come into play...  

Your support pays for the on-site painting labor, cost of professional mural paint (we use Nova Color) and protective topcoat, cost of support material (pre-design layout paper, art boards, and consumables consumed during the design process), as well as transportation and support equipment for a week of painting in Muscotah, Kansas.  

We've already received generous donations of time and material in prepping the site as well as housing for the Brush League Brainstormers while on-site.  All pre-design work has been donated by "Four Fingers" Farley and "Catbird" Nelson. We're asking for the funds to make the dream into a reality, both for us as a team and for Muscotah as a community.

WHAT'S THE MUSCOTAH PROJECT?

In the first stretch of the Muscotah Project, volunteers pitched in during a work weekend to prep the Concession Stand for the mural, paint the exterior of the World's Largest Baseball, build a mini-infield, and erect an outfield fence to frame the World's Largest Baseball and serve as a gathering place for visitors to Muscotah.  

You can read all about the Mustotah Project on the Kansas Sampler Foundation site.

Muscotah Concession Stand, prepped and ready for muralizin'.
Muscotah Concession Stand, prepped and ready for muralizin'.
Vintage postcard depicting West Side Park, home to the Cubs (and previous incarnations) from 1893-1915.
Vintage postcard depicting West Side Park, home to the Cubs (and previous incarnations) from 1893-1915.

Risks and challenges

Many challenges arise while creating public art during the dog days of summer in Kansas. Risks include: heat stroke, sunburn, chiggers, hot dog ODs, rotator cuff tear while painting, venomous snake bite, dehydration, exhaustion, mural fatigue, naysayers, painters' elbow, rival muralist gangs (yes, there are some out there, ready to co-opt murals in progress at a moment's notice. Vigilance is crucial to mural integrity....), and copyright infringement.

While the first items on this list are mere nuisances and readily dealt with by experienced Public Art Professionals (of which the Brush League Brainstormers are counted...), the last item is of utmost importance. We have made and will continue to make sure that the images we are using as source material are in the public domain or fall under a Creative Commons use license.

We are also conscious of how this mural will impact the family of Joe Tinker, the town of Muscotah, and the Chicago Cubs. In the unlikely event that any of our actions will get the goat (ha! - curse reference...) of any of the aforementioned parties, we will do our utmost to come to a creative yet satisfying compromise to make sure that the interests of all are preserved in a respectful and honorable tribute. That's the point of the mural - bringing the town, the family, and the franchise together in the interest of preserving rural culture through the story of baseball.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Exclusive email updates from the mural-in-progress, with daily stats from 'Four Fingers' Farley, image play-by-plays, and color commentary from 'Catbird' Nelson.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    All of the above, PLUS: Signed baseball card style portraits of Four Fingers and Catbird, complete with to-date Brush League stats and highlights.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All of the above, PLUS: Certified Genuine Paint Brush Souvenir. That's right, an actual brush, used in the application of the Tinker to Evers to Chance Celebratory Mural on the Muscotah Concession Stand. Suitable for display, mostly non-toxic.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    All of the above, PLUS: Certified Genuine Ballpark Ephemera Reliquary, containing cast-off material collected on Joe Tinker Day, July 27 2013, from Muscotah's Tinker Field during a Genuine Vintage Baseball Game (Cowtown Vintage Baseball Club vs. Hodgeman Nine). All Ephemera Reliquaries will include at least two of the following: Hot dog wrapper,Tinker Field relic containing actual infield dirt, Celebratory Mural paint chip, non-perishable food item, bottle cap, condiment packet, small pebble, and/or anything else that looks interesting. Contents will vary.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    All of the above, PLUS: Your name, personal icon, or subtle reference request hidden in the Tinker to Evers to Chance Celebratory Mural. Inclusions will be developed and implemented by Four Fingers and/or Catbird, with donor input. Final creative control retained by the Brush League Brainstormers, working in conjunction with each donor to reach an appropriate hidden inclusion. Donors receive a vintage postcard style print of their inclusion as proof of delivery.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    All of the above, PLUS: Muscotah Mud Rub set, featuring a regulation Muscotah-stamped baseball and accompanying Mud Rub Rubbing Mud, specially formulated from Tinker Field infield dirt. Muscotah Mud Rub allows pitchers better control and a firmer grip when used in combination with accompanying ball.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    All of the above, PLUS: Two authentic Brush League Brainstormer sketch pages, dramatically (yet artistically) ripped directly from the project sketchbooks. You'll receive one each from Four Fingers and Catbird, suitable for framing.

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    Pledge $2,900 or more About $2,900

    All of the above, PLUS: The privilege of throwing out the first ball at the Joe Tinker Day Vintage Baseball Game, July 27, 2013. Must be present to throw. Donor has the right to appoint a relief pitcher to assume the honor.

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Funding period

- (25 days)