A Guelph-based artist whose work is in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, is has completed his latest work in honour of the late pitcher Roy ‘Doc’ Halladay.
Sean Kane is a Guelph artist and illustrator who paints meticulously detailed portraits of baseball players on leather baseball gloves.
His most recent work is portrait of Roy ‘Doc’ Halladay, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. Halladay died in a plane crash in November of 2017 at the age of 40.
Kane has featured other Hall of Fame players, like Babe Ruth, Andre Dawson, Johnny Bench and Dizzy Dean, but his most recent work is his first to feature a Toronto Blue Jays player.
Halladay was drafted by the Blue Jays in 1995 and played for the team from 1998 to 2009, when he was traded to Philadelphia. He retired as a Phillies player in 2013.
With each glove, Kane seeks to tell a story about the player he is featuring through the logos and uniform, right down to which type style he uses in the designs.
”I tried to work on a design that focuses on him, his power, his strength and his nickname,” said Kane of the Halladay glove. “He’s so beloved by the organization and the fans.”
Kane made the creative choice to feature Halladay in a ‘more classic’ uniform from an era before the pitcher played for the Jays.
“Thankfully they had throwback days where he actually wore this, so I can let the uniform tell the story,” said Kane.
The double-outline Blue Jays font was a bit or a challenge to paint by hand, said Kane.
In the design, Halladay’s throwing hand and the ball makes up the letter O in the player’s nickname DOC.
Lettering on the glove also notes Halladay’s Cy Young awards, all-star appearances and the fact he was also inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
New Hall of Famer Roy Halladay featured on my latest painted glove. Incorporated nods to a few elements of the Blue Jays look over the years -- the colors and swirl and jagged stripe are from the Jays logo during Doc's era with the team. And the classic original logo and typeface on his uniform. #Doc #RoyHalladay #BlueJays @BlueJays #DocHOF #HOF #HOFWKND #BaseballGloveArt #SeanKane #SportsArt #Bluejaysnation #TorontoBlueJays #Baseball #HallofFame also #CanadianBaseballHallofFame ! My canvas: Nike Pro Issue N1 Elite @NikeBaseball
“I made sure I put that on there and because he played for the Jays it’s more relevant,” said Kane.
The artist tries to find gloves from the era in which the subject played. That means he sometimes had to source gloves from the 1920s or earlier.
Despite the fact Halladay played much more recently, Kane said finding one similar to his Nike Pro Issue N1 Elite glove was one of the hardest to find.
“I couldn’t find any. I finally found a second hand site where ball players buy, sell and trade gloves on,” said Kane.
Using an actual glove that Halladay used would have been difficult to get and may have been too valuable as a collectable to convert into an art piece.
The glove Kane found is similar to the ones Halladay used and actually belonged to another pro baseball player that is unlikely to ever end up in Cooperstown.
This was a pro glove and it had a pro player’s name stitched on there. I had to use a stitch remover,” said Kane. “It took eight hours, easily, to get all of the stitches out and then I filled in all of the holes with some of my gel medium and then to really hide it I put this banner behind his name.”
“It’s from the era he played. It ticks a lot of the boxes, but it was a hard one to get,” he added.
Kane said the glove will be on display in one of the offices at the Blue Jays club house in Toronto after he delivers it on Tuesday.