High Noon at Jacobs Field -portrait of Mike Hargrove

           I was at the Cleveland Indians Club House in Jacobs Field Baseball Stadium for a meeting with the team’s Golden Glove all-star shortstop Omar Vizquel. During previous visits I had been impressed by Mike Hargrove, the team's manager. In a place full of rowdy loud and child-like men, he was like a Zen master –quite, confident, always in control.

           In this world of male testosterone with the likes of Albert Bell, Carlos Baerga, Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome, Mike was the law. His laconic demeanour and the way he moved reminded me of all the great cowboy movie stars like John Wayne and Gary Cooper. I felt he would be a good subject for a painting so I asked him to pose for a picture and he graciously accepted.

           Just before practice we moved away from the noise into a supply room to take a few reference pictures. He asked me what I had in mind and I told him: -“A John Wayne pose, hands on hips.” That was it. To this day I have to say that Mike Hargrove was the best model I ever had. I got it right from the first shot.

           The result was this oil painting: ‘High Noon at Jacobs Field”. I portrayed Mike Hargrove standing tall in front of the Indian dugout with the sun at noon, like a western hero from the movies of old. I never exhibited the painting and a year later I donated it for a fundraiser of the local Hispanic Scholarship Fund.


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