May people often asked me to describe my art, but I am not a man of words, so I always struggle to express myself verbally or in written form. It's not surprising. I'm an artist! It's much easier for me to illustrate and draw my feelings then express them with words. So in my constant endeavor to connect art with sports, I've asked several of my fans to express their passion for baseball and will illustrate their love for the game... hence the name.
Matt has been following me on Twitter (@TheRealMattGage) for sometime now, and my Busch Stadium print hangs proudly in his man cave. I agreed to draw him and his wife as the Disney Characters, Ellie and Carl (from Up!) and he agreed to share his love story, which I'm happy to share with you. Thank you Matt for the privilege to include my art into your life.
"Baseball has always been a part of my life. It was always something that I shared with the ones I loved. When I met Simmon, she shared a love of the sport and that connected us. Baseball has been a common thread through our entire relationship. On the first day we met, we ended up going to a minor league game in Nashville. A year later, I was going on a big trip to the east coast to see all the stadiums in Northeast. She lived in New York and joined me on a leg of that trip. I ended up moving to New York a few months later and we started dating. We practically lived at Yankee Stadium and CitiField. It was like home for us – comfortable and welcoming. A year later we moved to Chicago. We had a hard time with the move, but baseball helped us get through. We visited every stadium in the Midwest and had a lot to look forward to. While we were in Chicago, we were homesick and unsure of the future. That first October, the Cardinals were in the World Series. In Game 6, it looked like it was all over. I was exhausted by it and upset – so sick of watching that I almost went to bed. Simmon convinced me to stay up, reminding me that anything could happen. Begrudgingly, I watched. It was the most amazing game. I watched the Cardinals change their fate. It was something special and filled us with hope. We changed our own fate too. We got engaged, moved back to the east coast, and got married. Together we count down the days until Opening Day – planning our next trip to some new city to experience a new stadium together. We track baseball milestones like the milestones of our own lives – going to a Jackie Robinson day, seeing Old Timers Day, All Star Fan Fest, stadium tours, the Hall of Fame, and on and on. Baseball has given us more than something to do – it provided a space for our relationship to grow, given us hope, taken us on many adventures, connected us with family and friends, and helped bond our love for each other." - Matt