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.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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