By Phil Hecken
“If you build it…”
I have a very special post today for you all. As you’re all probably aware, I spend a fair amount of time on Twitter and via this medium, I’ve come into contact with a number of talented individuals, including many in the design field. I’ve featured several on here over the years (these include colorizers, artists and graphic designers). However, today’s featured artist works in the 3-D sphere, actually building stadium models. His name is David Resnik, and his work is amazing.
We’ll start with a Q&A, and then take a look at some of David’s projects.
Uni Watch: Are you a Uni Watch reader and if so, how long have you been following?
David Resnik: Of course I am! I look forward to the annual uniform/kit updates, and have been reading them for years
UW: How old are you and where do you live?
DR: Im 36, and I live in Kent Ohio. I grew up in Cleveland, and I am a huge Tribe/Cavs fan. I *used* to be a Browns fan if you catch my drift
UW: When did you develop an interest in making stadium models?
DR: When I was 13, I created mockup of Jacobs Field out of cardboard. The ballpark had just opened the previous year, and I was always into Legos, etc. Im not sure exactly how I combined my love of baseball and the new ballpark, but it seemed like a good idea at the time! Turns out, the local newspaper was looking for people who had done something interesting to honor the teams newfound success (this was 1995), and my Mom sent in a submission. A couple weeks later I had the photographer and writer visit me at school to do an article and mine was the headliner.
UW: Are you a graphic artist or designer by trade or is this just a hobby? Did you have any formal training (college, grad school) for these?
DR: Not until recently. After I did that first model when I was a kid, I really didnt do anything like it until 2 or 3 years ago. I was looking for a new hobby and my younger brother actually suggested I give it another try, to see if I could improve on the methods. Needless to say, I think I did, and I haven’t stopped since. In fact, last year, a friend of mine who is an architect in Cleveland saw my work and suggested I show his friend, the Dean of the Architecture program at Kent State. Around this time last year I set up a meeting, and the Dean offered to accept me into the program if I was interested. After a long discussion with family and friends, I decided to make a big life change and enroll. Im currently in the second year of study working towards a masters and I can honestly say Ive never been happier.
UW: I love stadia, especially ones that no longer exist, but newer ones as well, almost as much as I love uniforms. Do you love unis as well?
DR: I LOVE uniforms! I had the chance to live in England back in 2011, and Im a huge Manchester United fan, so I also have an appreciation for the use of advertising in jerseys. I know its a controversial topic, but I really think when its done tastefully, it can be a positive thing for the brands. My concern, like everyone else I think, is they’ll go full NASCAR, which I dont think would be right. So far, I think the NBA has done it very well.
UW: How long (approximately) does each stadium model take? Do you tackle it all at once, or is this an on-again, off-again process?
DR: It really depends. A couple of months minimum, just because I cant do it full time. I think they usually require around 200 hours of work, depending on the complexity of the structure. Safeco and Minute Maid Park for example took a bit longer because I had to design and test the retractable roof systems. More recently, the latest iteration of Progressive Field is dragging on because of school. Im hoping I can get it completed over the holiday break coming up. Ill keep you posted!
UW: Do you do this (or anything similar) for a living? Or is this strictly “for fun”?
DR: Like I said earlier, I never thought I could do this for a living, but now I’m just a couple years away from making it a reality. If any of your readers know anyone who works for Populous, feel free to send them my way ;-)
UW: Are any of these available for sale? Do you do any of these on commission or for charity?
DR: That’s a tough question to answer. Every model I’ve ever done was for personal reasons. Something about the venue just spoke to me. So selling or producing for charity was never my intention. However, I get asked all the time. The problem I run into is that, the final product really isn’t worth the man hours that go into it, so its almost impossible to price them out on an á la carte basis. I did auction Minute Maid Park for George Springer’s charity this past summer, and we raised about $900. Maybe I will be able to figure out a way to produce them faster one day, which would make them easier to price.
UW: How “big” approximately is a finished model? I note in your “in progress” photos for the Jake, you have shown some tape and a knife for scale. They really look tiny, but there is an incredible amount of detail in each one.
DR: They’re about one square foot, give or take. The site dimensions play a role, but I always wanted to build them for my desk, so I do keep them on the smaller side.
UW: Do you “design” the graphical layout for each stadium, or are you using architectural plans or photographs? How do you get the details printed out?
DR: Hahahaha, my professors would gasp hearing this, but no. I really just build them from the ground up by hand and eye. I start by taking a top down image of the playing field from google maps and just kind of scale things from there. Knowing its 90 feet from base to base, I kind of run the metrics off of that, but honestly there is very little real math involved. There is a website called Clem’s Baseball Blog that has been very helpful in figuring out some sizing and layout issues I’ve run into, like which stadiums playing fields are below street level, and how far, etc. 3D maps on Apple and Google are also really helpful, as well as just doing a whole lot of image searching.
UW: Do you have a website or blog or social media presence?
DR: I’ve been able to grow my Twitter following because of this, but that’s it so far. I would love to do more on Instagram, and I am looking to get a website up and running some time this spring. I think it would help me organize and archive the work. Besides Minute Maid Park, I’ve given some others away to friends and family as gifts, so they’re kind of scattered around the country at this point. It would definitely help when it comes time to apply for jobs with stadium Architecture firms.
UW: What are your next stadia plans? Do you do anything besides MLB parks? Would you ever consider doing any old stadiums (Polo Grounds, Ebbets Field, Shibe Park, etc.) that no longer exist?
DR: I’m not really sure just yet! I would like to go back and do some soccer stadiums (Old Trafford, or maybe the new LAFC stadium, which looks spectacular), or maybe Coors Field or PNC Park, which are two of my favorites. I did one of old League Park, and I did enjoy it, but its really tough to find enough photos and plans for the older stadiums. If you, or any of your readers, know of any resources for this kind of information, I would definitely try my hand at it!
UW: Anything else you think our readers would like to know about you?
DR: I just think its cool that other people think these are cool. Who knew a silly little hobby could change your life?? I was in a pretty dark place in life when I picked this back up, and it really has led me to a place of happiness I didnt think was possible. I hope people are inspired by that and I hope anyone who has questions or suggestions will reach out. I’ll keep making them as long as people keep enjoying them! I can be reached at @dfrezzz on Twitter, and @davidfresnik on Instagram.
And with that, let’s take a look at some (and these are only a few) of David’s works. In each section, I’ll include a few photos (you can click to enlarge) and then a link to a flickr album where you can see more.
My uncle lives in Tucson, and when I was in high school, he brought me out to Arizona and got tickets for Opening Day in 1998, back when it was called Bank One Ballpark. I’ve always loved that place, and when I decided to take a shot at retractable roof stadiums, that was the first one I tried. When I finished it, I sent it to him as a gift and he keeps it on his desk at work.
For more photos of Chase Field, click here
My latest and greatest. In honor of the 2016 World Series, and the happiest place in my world. Real lights to be installed soon-ish.
For more photos of Jacobs Field, click here.
The glove and coke can are too iconic to have not attempted. One of my earlier works.
For more photos of AT&T Park, click here.
This one was done for my cousin in Boston. (Since I made this), the Red Sox have yet to get out of the Division Series. I like to think I’m responsible for this hex.
For more photos of Fenway Park, click here.
Minute Maid Park
The glass walls in left field attached to the roof panels were an interesting challenge, and my first time using acetate. In the end, I got in touch with some Astros fans on twitter who helped put me in touch with George Springers charity, SAY, for children with speech impediments, and we raffled it off this past summer. We raised about $900 for the charity.
To view a video overview of this, please click here.
For more photos of Minute Maid Park, click here.
This was probably my favorite non-Cleveland model. The roof is a little more complicated than Minute Maid, and I love the color palette. It was also for my little brother who lives in Seattle, so it was a lot of fun.
To view a video overview of this, please click here.
For more photos of Safeco Field, click here.
All I can say is “WOW.”
Since first speaking with David, we’ve talked a lot, and he has more on the way. He’s also interested in creating more models for charity, if that can be arranged. Originally, it seemed as though he might have had something in the works for Mile High Stadium in Denver, but initial interest from the team (or at least the team’s social media account) seems to have cooled. If anyone from the Rockies (or affiliated with the team in any way) is reading this, please let me know and I’ll pass it along to David.
How great are these models? Please let David know what you think in the comments down below, and if you have any suggestions or thoughts for new stadia (he’s also done work in non-baseball fields), please share them. I will definitely have more on this in the future!
for the Ticker
Got an e-mail yesterday from Craig Brown, a baseball historian, who shared a couple interesting “solved” mysteries. I wanted to bring them to you, and his e-mail was too long, and simply TOO GOOD for the ticker:
Hello baseball historians,
I thought I would share with you two recent postings to the Threads Of Our Game website. Each involves a photo of a young pitcher and also a small mystery solved.
A pitcher by any other name.
The first mysterious photo was of a player wearing an 1870s Boston uniform and with the caption of “Josephus.” A quick search of baseball-reference.com finds no one by that name. Dead end, right? But as many historians have discovered, this was actually Joe Borden, a 21-yr old pitcher who was trying to conceal his baseball profession from his father. Borden usually went by “Josephs” and in fact appeared under this alias in box scores when he played for Philadelphia (NA) in 1875 and Boston (NL) in 1876. Borden was a fast thrower and has been credited with tossing the first professional no-hitter in 1875. He was a big signing for Boston to replace Al Spalding in 1876. However, Borden became ineffective and his career ended when he was released by Boston in late 1876. With the mystery of Josephus solved, we can positively determine that the image of Joe Borden is the first photographic documentation (in the Threads archive, at least) of the 1876 Boston uniform.
If there is no record, did it actually happen?
The second mysterious photo was of Abner Powell and Chris Fulmer wearing uniforms that had “Chicago Unions” painted across the bib. The assumption being that Powell and Fulmer played for the 1884 Union Association team by that name. But again, a quick check of baseball-reference.com shows us that Powell and Fulmer played for the Nationals of Washington (UA) in 1884, not Chicago (UA). Something’s not right–another dead end? This mystery can be solved by the image scans of The Sporting Life newspaper, which tell us there was also a Chicago Union team one year earlier in 1883. The 1883 version was an independent pro team that formed in June of that year with the dream of joining an established league in 1884. Powell, a promising pitcher, was the centerpiece to the plan, being lured away along with Fulmer, a catcher, from Providence (NL) after they both played in pre-season games there. As one might predict, the Chicago Unions soon ran into problems, especially when NL and AA teams refused to play at the Union Grounds and when several Union players subsequently deserted. The team disbanded in August 1883 and Powell and Fulmer went together to Peoria, IL, of the Northwestern League to finish the season. Except for the 1883 Peoria outings, Powell never played in any official league games that year and therefore had no records to speak of. Today, his short time with the Chicago Unions is usually not mentioned in biographies of Powell, who subsequently went on the become a successful and innovative minor league manager. The only record is the photo—a testament to Abner Powell’s lost year of 1883.
And in other news.
I am happy to say I will be attending the SABR Frederick Ivor-Campbell Conference in Cooperstown this April and will be giving a short presentation about the Threads project. If you are going to Cooperstown too, I hope we can say hello.
Thanks for your time,
Thanks Craig — I just had to share that with the Uni Watch crew! If you’ve never checked out the Threads of our Game website, please do — you may spend hours there, and you’ll thank me later.
OK. Now, on to the ticker…
Uni Watch News Ticker
Baseball News: How do you capture the essence of the American League MVP Jose Altuve? One Houston artist did it with nearly 44,000 LEGOs (from bryanwdc). … Tweeter Jeff Callahan created a shuffleboard-esque version as a board game based on the odd dimensions of the (now long-gone) Polo Grounds in New York. Very cool! … If you don’t like the NE logo on your cap, Benjamin Christiansen may be your thing. Here’s a tweet he sent to me: “We’re selling MLB On Field hats WITHOUT THE NEW ERA LOGO for $25.98 or less. That’s $10+ below the price of one WITH the logo. I’ve had 12 people$ this week reject me on trying to save them because they WANT the logo. Branding is a thing.” … Looks like the Houston Astros may have a new championship logo (good spot by Corey Buck). … Jimmer Vilk saw a commercial for Cuyahoga Community College yesterday. They showed a clip of the baseball team using Twins logo (for Tri-C).
NFL News: Yesterday, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tennessee Titans (nee, Houston Oilers) faced each other in the playoffs. The last time the Chiefs and the Titans/Oilers faced each other in the playoffs, Buddy Ryan and Kevin Gilbride faced each other on the sidelines. Love Ya Blue (from Erik Gamborg). … Speaking of Chiefs/Titans(Oilers) games, here’s a nice thread from Kevin Gallagher and Jimmer Vilk. … Of course these two franchises have met before — including in 1962 before the Chiefs (nee Texans) moved to Kansas City (from Mike Tongue). … Here’s a classic Sports Illustrated cover from 54 years ago featuring then NFL Commish Pete Rozelle and some classic football hats (from Bruce Menard). … Prior to yesterday (and still going), the last time the Chiefs won a playoff game at home (1/8/94), Joe Montana was the starting QB (from Robert Hayes). … “Don’t think I’ve ever seen NFL playoff patches on sideline hats before” notes Peter Kirschenbaum. Here’s a better look (from @NYCKING). … Pretty sure we knew this, but just in case: The Chiefs have yellow numbers on their chinstraps (from Nate Vickstrom). … John Turney thinks Adoree’ Jackson going to get fined for playing with no socks, and playing in “shorts”. … @TheTeej notes the Rams visual identity is so messed up that even they can’t paint their helmets correctly (facemask should be white). … Kris Gross noticed the fake Seahawks jersey for Richard Sherman in a pistachios ad. … OR IS IT? “Actually I think it’s just some type of pistachios jersey, Clay Matthews wears the same one, interesting nonetheless,” says Charlie Reier, Jr. … Good observation here from Steve Lega on the use of “WILD CARD” vs. “WILDCARD”: “Very inconsistent in both the official league sanctioned logo and PR and the field paint. Can’t take my eyes off if it now! The Indy game from a couple years back was WILDCARD painted on the field, as is this weekends KC. Clearly added the space in LA while painting in video.” … From Andrew Julian: Rams changed End Zone logo…they’ve been using the blue and white Ram logo there all year. Now Helmet for Playoff game. … And speaking of teams who haven’t won a playoff game (this time on the road) in a while: The “last time the #Falcons won a road playoff game, they had much better looking uniforms. 2002 Wild Card win. Pretty sure it was Green Bay’s 1st playoff loss at Lambeau,” notes Michael Malnicof.
College Football News: While there was no FBS action yesterday (that big game is tomorrow), there was the FCS finals between James Madison University and North Dakota State University, a game that was “pretty easy on the eyes” according to Neil Downey.
Hockey News: On Friday, Sidney Crosby used purple tape on the knob of his hockey stick, when he usually uses white. Submitter @dom_hart6 adds, “Wonder why… usually a very superstitious guy.” … Sweden won the silver medal in the 2018 World Junior Hockey Championships on Friday night after their loss to Canada. Wade Heidt reports it was “An interesting scene. Discouraged by the loss, Sweden captain Lias Andersson threw the medal into the stands after receiving it during the ceremony. It was caught by a fan wearing a Rochester Americans jersey. The fan then removed the jersey and the USA jersey underneath to revealed a Sweden jersey. Then he put the medal around his neck and posed for fans. In this story are 2 videos showing this.” … “Interesting. Colorado going with Hejduk jerseys in warmups to honour him (yester)day,” says @KP8Design. “Names of the actual players underneath the numbers.” … Here is another look (from @spj9877). … On Friday’s JEOPARDY!, there were a bunch of NHL Logo answers. How many questions did you get right? (from Mike Styczen).
NBA News: According to Alan Horton (of the Minnesota Timberwolves Radio Network), the Wolves wore their
Statement alternate aurora green uniforms for the 2nd time this season, but with a twist, they’ll switch from navy blue compression shorts/sleeves to white after wearing them in a loss to Phoenix 2 weeks ago (from Brett Stone). … Here’s a look at those unis on court (from Jay).
College Hoops News: Looks like the Texas A&M-Corpus Christi men’s basketball team (known as the “Islanders”) will have new uniforms for their game Wednesday (from Chris Mycoskie). … Yesterday, Patrick Ewing, head coach of Georgetown, sported pink kicks. Why? “Wearing my Pink Jordan XXXII for our Men Against Breast Cancer game (yester)day. It’s a cause close to my heart. Lost my sister Pauline to the disease,” (from bryanwdc). … If you count gray as a color, then yesterday’s game between Pitt and Virginia Tech was a color-vs-color affair (from Andrew Cosentino). … Speaking of color-vs-color-if-gray-is-a-color games, here’s Creighton vs. Georgetown from yesterday (notice the pink shoes). From Bryanwdc). … The case against NOBs? Dylan Osetkowski’s name of the Texas Longhorns was really squeezed on the back of his jersey (from Westside Firefly). … Did you guys happen to catch last night’s game between Northern Illinois and Home Team? (from Benny Sampson).
Soccer News: I’d seen this earlier too, but as Wade Heidt points out “This kit unveil has not yet made the ticker. New primary kit for MLS New England Revolution.” … Leroy Sane of Man City was missing his FA Cup patch vs Burnley on Saturday (from Josh Hinton). A couple more from Josh as well: Leones Negros (Mexican 2nd tier) released their 2018 third kit and Tottenham Hotspur’s 2018-19 home kit has leaked.
Grab Bag: This comes from Tom Konecny: An article in the Toledo Blade entitled “Time for change? Schools wrestle with Native American nicknames” asks the question, “why, in 2018, are high schools in the state of Ohio still using a derogatory slang word as a nickname? Is it tradition, or is it ignorance?”