The Ryan Express – Texas Rangers’ Nolan Ryan

Posted by on Aug 20, 2011 in Blog, Recent Work | No Comments

"The Ryan Express" Nolan Ryan by David E. WilkinsonJust finished my latest painting of Texas Rangers Hall of Fame Pitcher Nolan Ryan “The Ryan Express”. Some of you who know me or my work know that I am an artist living in the Philadelphia area and although I do branch out into other cities & teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, my work does tend to focus more on Philadelphia’s pro sports teams.

So why Nolan Ryan? Well, first let me just say, I had the pleasure to see him pitch and as anyone who has knows, he was just an amazing pitcher with a work ethic and attitude I love to see in an athlete. The man did not take s^*t from anyone and rarely backed down.

Nolan Ryan had a major league record 27 year career and pitched in 1966 and from 1968-1993 for The New York mets, California Angels, Houston Astros and Texas Rangers. Ryan is the all time leader in no-hitters with seven. Three more than any other pitcher. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999.

That all said, he probably would not have been at the top of my to do list if I had not attended a Neurofibromatosis (NF) fundraising event for a friend and met the talented harpist Heather Cullins. While speaking with her about the Roy Halladay piece I had donated for the auction, she mentioned that she had friends who owned a box at Texas Stadium but were also good friends with Nolan Ryan himself.NolanRyan_tn

I am always looking for a new athletes to depict and tend to go where inspiration and opportunity leads me, so I offered to do a piece to give to both her friends as well as Nolan Ryan. I suppose my timing was good because the Rangers went on to become the American League Champions.

To me what is most amazing about Nolan is how long he was able to pitch effectively. When most pitchers are passed their primes or retired, he was still on the mound and mowing them down still throwing at speeds of up to 100mph. I suppose it is because it is how I most remember him but I decided to choose an image of him from later in his career. I loved the thought of capturing the essence and doing an image of an older version of Nolan in action.

Please feel free to write or comment with any questions you may have.

Prints are currently available.

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