By Phil Hecken
Readers may recall I featured architecture student/ballpark model builder David Resnik on Uni Watch about a year and a half ago, in which David was interviewed and explained (and showed) his techniques for constructing model ballparks. I’d recommend giving that a quick read to re-familiarize yourselves with today’s featured artist. It’s been a while since last I spoke with him, and much has transpired in that time. David has “rebranded” himself (his words) and his website, and created several new models. He’s extremely passionate about his work, and often works with other clubs to do charity work. We’ll catch up with him again today, with a short Q&A and then take a look at some of his newer and newest work. I asked David if he’d share (and describe) his latest pieces, which follow the Q&A. You can click on any of the photos below to enlarge.
Uni Watch: Hey David, long time no speak. When last we heard from you, you went by a different “name” on Twitter — so you’ve “rebranded.” What’s the new handle?
David Resnik: Hi Phil! Great to speak with you again, and thank you for your time! I rebranded as @StadiumsForAnts.
UW: What made you choose “Stadiums For Ants” and was this your original idea or did someone suggest it?
DR: It’s a play on a joke from the movie Zoolander. In the past when I would post pictures of my work, inevitably SOMEONE would reply with a Zoolander gif and question “what is this, a stadium for ants???”. Which kind of deserves an eye roll, but I decided to own it and take it on as my brand name.
UW: You have some new projects (which we’ll see below). Which of the new parks (Miller Park, Progressive Field, PNC Park) is your favorite?
DR: Its really tough to say. Each of them are fun to work on for different reasons, and I have little parts that I love about them all. Of course as a life long Cleveland fan, Progressive Field and Quicken Loans Arena are near and dear to my little ant heart, but PNC is special because of the bridge/river/skyline, and I am really excited to build the working, movable roof for Miller Park.
UW: It appears, at least to me, the newer ones are getting more detailed. Has this been an outgrowth of your skill progression?
DR: I think so. A lot of it has to do with the skills I am developing in school and everything that goes into that. I would say some of it is also just a product of honing some of my skills. As they say, practice makes perfect.
UW: Tell us a bit about the charity projects: I note the PNC Park and Minute Maid projects have raised over $4,000 for charity!
DR: It has been exceptionally rewarding to be able to work with some amazing charities and to raise money with these projects. Sean Casey and his Pittsburgh organization Miracle League of the South Hills (@MLSH), which is a little league for kids with disabilities, were such a cool partner. The head of the organization Tim Gebhart, who is a HUGE baseball guy, was a true joy to work with. They all helped pitch in with promotion and marketing the raffle tickets, and we raised about $3,000 for them selling tickets at $10 a piece, with discounts if you buy more.
UW: How close is Miller Park to completion?
DR: I think we are about 6 weeks away from a finished product, but I am still working through the mechanics of the roof. As I said, I am pretty fired up about it, but its gonna take some ant-sized engineering to get it right!
UW: When last we spoke, you were in architecture school — have you graduated yet or are you still a student? What are your summer plans?
DR: I have one more year to go to complete the undergraduate degree, and then probably another year and a half to get my masters. Its been a wild ride, and the workload is no joke — but its becoming clearer that I am within reach of where I want to be, and I couldn’t be happier or more proud to say that. This summer I am fortunate enough to be working in a Sports Architecture firm in Downtown Cleveland called O-Sports, which is an arm of Osborn Engineering. Suffice to say, getting to sit at a real-world desk and help design sports architecture all day is genuinely a dream come true.
UW: Would you consider selling any of these now? I know before you weren’t certain. And if you were, any idea what the asking price might be?
DR: You know, I think I would! I’ve been able to develop some of the procedure to cut down the build time, and I think I am ready to take an order or two, if the right price were offered. Bearing in mind these are handmade pieces of art, I think for the right person, I would do it. As far as the price is concerned, I think it depends on which stadium they want. For something like Miller Park with a retractable roof, its going to require more hours. If anyone is interested in discussing, they are free to send me a message on Twitter, Facebook, or through my website.
UW: When did you start adding lights to the ballparks? That is incredibly awesome — what is the process and how long does it take? Are they simply powered by batteries?
DR: Thank you so much! I started trying to work with tiny LED lights on Minute Maid Park, but I think I really figured out how to make them look right with Progressive Field. I had to gauge how many lights per tower/beam were needed to provide enough light to give it the full effect. It probably takes an extra week or two to drill through the base, run all the wires, and solder the LED bulbs. Then they are just run on a simple switch that holds a watch battery stuck to the bottom of the base.
UW: Have you won any accolades or awards for these?
DR: As a matter of fact, I did!! I was kind of blindsided … and completely honored to be recognized by Cleveland Magazine last year as one of Cleveland’s “30 Most Interesting People of the Year”. I dont know how interesting I really am, but I am grateful beyond words that people like my work.
UW: What else is new since last we spoke? I see you added First Energy Stadium — is that your first “football” stadium?
DR: It is! I grew up a big Browns fan, and up until very recently, there wasn’t a whole lot to be excited about. Towards the end of last year, with the hype surrounding the team and Baker Mayfield, I thought it would be a good time to give it a shot. So I reached out to Josh Cribbs Foundation to see if they would be interested in partnering up. Josh is actually a Kent State Alum, which is where I am enrolled in architecture school and he even came down to see the model in progress and did a couple of promo videos with the local news. In the end we raised $4,000 for his Foundation and had a blast doing it. Now if only we can convince the team to go back to the original uniforms ;-).
UW: What’s next on the agenda? Have you begun any new stadia yet?
DR: Just Miller Park! I have some of the initial legwork done on a couple of others, so we will see what happens the rest of the summer. As we discussed before, if anyone is interested in buying one as a commission, let me know! I think we could do something on a commission basis.
UW: OK, let’s take a look at your newest work. But before I let you go, anything else you’d like to add?
DR: I just think its incredible that people seem to enjoy these as much as I enjoy building them. Being able to get them into the hands of real fans, and to raise money for worthy causes in the process is icing on the cake. That being said, Miller Park raffle tickets will go on sale in a couple of weeks here, and all the proceeds are going to benefit MACC Fund, which is a local Milwaukee organization that works with childhood cancer patients. I will be updating everyone on Twitter and Facebook as usual, so lets see if we can beat the amount raised last summer!
UW: Great. Thanks!
Progressive Field/Quicken Loans Arena (Gateway District, Cleveland Ohio)
When we last spoke, I was in the middle of the ballpark on this one. Since then, I have added the Arena, as well as the surrounding buildings, trees, public spaces, etc. Since the Cavs Ring ceremony and championship banner raising was held on the same night as Game 1 of the 2016 World Series, I decided to use banners/scoreboard images from that night for the entire model, so it is fairly accurate to everything going on that evening. One of the greatest nights in CLE sports history, in my humble opinion. This model also managed to gain me enough local notoriety to be listed as Cleveland Mag.
Many more images here.
PNC Park/Downtown Skyline (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
I partnered with Miracle League of the South Hills on this one, which is Sean Casey’s charity. He was kind enough to do some video posts to promote the project, and our raffle raised $3,000 for the charity. I drove the finished product to Pittsburgh to give it to the winner, which was cool, and I plan to do the same with the Miller Park model when its done.
Many more photos here.
First Energy Stadium/Lakefront (Cleveland Ohio)
My first football stadium, we partnered with Kent State grad and Browns legend Josh Cribbs and his charity Foundation. We were able to raise $4,000 for his Christmas shopping event where every year he takes at-risk group home kids on an Xmas shopping spree. Josh was also cool enough to stop by Kent State to see the model and do some TV promotions to support the project.
Many more photos here.
Miller Park (Under Construction)
Partnering with MACC Fund, which is a local MKE charity that works exclusively with victims of childhood cancer, we will be launching our raffle ticket sales for this in the coming weeks. Links will be available on my website www.stadiumsforants.com, as well as directly at go.rallyup.com/minimillerpark.
Many more photos here.
WOW! Just amazing. Thanks, David, for again sharing your work and for all your charity efforts. If anyone would like to get in touch with him to see about possibly purchasing his work, you can contact him here.
For those who don’t wish to click the links, Graig paints baseball heroes (and regular guys) from the past, and is an immense talent.
Occasionally, I will be featuring his work on Uni Watch.
Here’s today’s offering (click to enlarge):
Title: “Jim Devlin, 1876” (color study)
Subject: Jim Devlin, 1876
Medium: Oil on linen mounted to board
Size: 5” x 7”
For me, one of the most gripping stories from Ken Burns’ Baseball documentary involved that of Jim Devlin, a pitcher for the old Louisville Grays who was eventually banned for his involvement in throwing games in 1877. He and his three teammates cost their ballclub the pennant that year, and their subsequent ostracizing from the sport was considered the first scandal in National League history.
Jim’s story seems all the more tragic because of the annual letters he submitted to National League President William Hulbert, all of which were in the hopes of being reinstated. He wrote to other dignitaries of the league, including the likes of Charles Chase (club president of the Louisville Grays) and Harry Wright (then the manager of the Boston Red Caps). A letter to the latter still survives to this day.
In said correspondence, he pleaded for help from Wright, explaining that he was in need of any kind of work to support himself and his family, claiming that he hadn’t a dollar to his name. No response ever came, either from Wright or any of the other magnates he reached out to.
Devlin died in October of 1883 from tuberculosis. To read more about the scandal of the Louisville Four, MLB Historian John Thorn’s account is a must-read.
My painting depicts the man a year before those events, with the Louisville Grays in 1876.
Thanks, Graig! You can (and should!) follow Graig on Twitter.
Uni Concepts & Tweaks
After being dormant for a while, the Uni Tweaks/Concepts have returned!
I hope you guys like this feature and will want to continue to submit your concepts and tweaks to me. If you do, Shoot me an E-mail (Phil (dot) Hecken (at) gmail (dot) com).
I received the following e-mail from John Elbertson, who has an Amerks concept:
What’s up Phil?
Here’s what the New York Americans might look like if they were brought back as an expansion team.
For the crest, I kept the shape of the original logo, and added “Hockey Club” as a nod to later “ANHC” versions. The secondary mark is meant to have a throwback vibe to it, complete with the Sons of Liberty stripes on the mask. I’m a sucker for those old goalie masks.
I like incorporating stars into jerseys when it’s appropriate, so I did that here. Didn’t want to go crazy though, so I just put a few on the sleeves. You might have to zoom in, but check out the brain stitching on the NOB. Another throwback element that I really dig.
Overall I think it’s a healthy mix of clean modern style, and the old-fashioned Americana look of the original team.
– John Elbertson
Thanks John. OK readers (and concepters). If you have some tweaks or concepts, shoot ’em my way with a brief description of your creation and I’ll run ’em here.
Guess The Game…
from the scoreboard
The game has returned! At least for a trial basis, but I got a lot of positive response to its return, so we’ll see how long we keep this one going.
Today’s scoreboard comes from “Interesting hank”.
The premise of the game (GTGFTS) is simple: I’ll post a scoreboard and you guys simply identify the game depicted. In the past, I don’t know if I’ve ever completely stumped you (some are easier than others).
This one probably rates a 2 out of 10 on the difficulty scale. It’s a small shot of the scoreboard, but an iconic image — and you can easily make out enough of it to determine the game.
Here’s the Scoreboard. In the comments below, try to identify the game (date & location, as well as final score). If anything noteworthy occurred during the game, please add that in (and if you were AT the game, well bonus points for you!):
If you guys like this, and want to continue this as a weekly feature, let me know in the comments below. You’re welcome to send me any scoreboard photos (with answers please), and I’ll keep running them.
By Anthony Matthew Emerson
Baseball News: Check out the T-shirt Phil Niekro is wearing in this great pic from the Braves locker room in the 70s (from Al N. Kreit). … Redleg Radio, a podcast for Reds fans, discusses MLB uni ads at the 38 minute mark of their latest episode (thanks, Alex). … Paul basically had to ignore the entire Twin Cities Area last night, as the Twins gave away purple jerseys for “Prince Night” (thanks, Phil). … The Jays played the Astros in Houston last night, which meant you could pick up both Craig and Cavan Biggio’s jerseys at the pros shop. Meanwhile, members of the Biggio family wore Frankenjerseys, with tequila sunrise shoulder yokes, natch (from Ignacio Salazar). …The Durham Bulls wore Durham Lollygaggers unis last night, a reference to a joke from Bull Durham (from Gregory Baxter). … Back in the 90s, Sonoma County, Ca., had an independent baseball team called the Sonoma County Crushers. Their mascot was the Abominable Sonoman. I love independent baseball (from Jason Morgans). … This shot of the 1917 Congressional Baseball Game is absolutely stunning. Love the “Democrats” and “Republicans” pinned to the unis. … Auburn’s College World Series patch is weirdly high on their sleeves (from Zach Roberts). … Seeing as Auburn is making their just their fourth trip to the CWS ever and first in 22 years, here’s a look at what Auburn wore the previous three times to Omaha (from Clint Richardson). … University Liggett, a K-12 prep school in Michigan, has unis that are all red on the front and all blue on the back. Strange (from Burrill Strong).
NFL/CFL News: Some early phantom championship merch: here’s a pin proclaiming the Pats as Super Bowl XXXI Champions (from Mike Malnicof). … As part of the CFL’s move to New Era, the Hamilton Tiger Cats’ unique pants numbers have been eliminated. A shame (from Wade Heidt). … The Jaguars have a display of all their previous helmet designs in their lobby, including their unused white helmet from the initial reveal (from Kevin Mericle).
College/High School Football News: The Kansas and Missouri high school all-stars played a game, with the Kansas players wearing KU colors and the Missouri players wearing Mizzou colors (from Ryan Atkinson).
Hockey News: In the new Netflix documentary Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story, guitarist Mick Ronson briefly appears on screen wearing what appears to be a 1970-73 California Golden Seals jersey. Obviously, there are many differences between the jerseys the Seals actually wore and the jersey Ronson was wearing — most obviously, the short sleeves. But Cody Pernu notes some other discrepancies: “the yoke appears to be white (compared the hockey Seals’ yellow), and it lacks the full, white hockey collar. This clip can be placed to 1975, which is a couple years after the Seals ditched the lace-up collar (possibly also seen in the photo, minus the lace).” Faaaaascinating. The scene can be found at 1:08:45 in the film. … The logos of teams in the upstart Interstate Hockey League have been released (from John Cerone). … Some street sweepers in St. Louis have been adorned with Stanley Cup Champions livery (from @MrMichael21).
Soccer News: Last night, Brazilian men’s national team wore white shirts with blue shorts for the first time since their infamous loss to Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup Final (from Bill Radocy). … ESPN has a rundown of everything the USWNT needed to bring for their trip to France (from Chris Cruz). … The amazing Twitter account @_BandsFC posted pics of c. 1996 Coke cans featuring the crests of Bundesliga and La Liga teams yesterday. … River Plate’s home kit has been leaked (from Josh Hinton). … Also from Josh: the MLS All-Star Game kit has been leaked. … The following are all from Ed Żelaski: New home kit for English Championship side Brentford FC. … Italian side Genoa has signed a kit deal with Kappa. … English League Two team Doncaster Rovers’ home kit has been released. … Fellow League Two club Mansfield Town also released their home kit yesterday, which will be worn for the next two seasons.
Grab Bag: Syracuse is sticking with Nike for the foreseeable future (from many readers). … Speaking of ‘Cuse, AD John Wildhack has hinted that new unis are forthcoming (from @GenerationInk). … Business Insider had an okay-ish article about the “secret messages” of some logos and unis (thanks, Phil). … Yesterday, we had a piece on the proposed livery for the new Air Force One. Today, presidential historian Michael Beschloss tweeted that John F. Kennedy picked the font for the “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” lettering on the plane because it resembled an early printed version of the Declaration of Independence (from Kevin Fleming). … Yesterday’s sub-lede about LSU’s 1940s winged L track unis reminded Steve Johnston of Lyons Township (Il.) High’s own winged L track unis. … Fast Company has an article about the changes in logo trends in 2019 (from Andrew Horne). … Here’s a curious one: Hunter James Hook thought the new UMKC logo and identity was awfully familiar to player-created “teambuilder” logos (scroll to bottom of page) from the video game NCAA Football 10, first posted online in 2009. You be the judge.