Dave Hobrecht Brings the Say Hey Kid Back to New York — on canvas
Baseball fans can argue about the greatest hitter or pitcher of all-time, but when the words “greatest all-around player to ever play the game” are spoken, there is only one name on the list: Willie Mays.
Sports artist and Artexpo New York exhibitor Dave Hobrecht has fulfilled a lifelong dream by collaborating with the Say Hey Kid himself on this black and white painting of the Hall of Famer in an iconic home run follow-through. Dubbed “AMAYSING,” Dave’s is the only painting Willie Mays has personally endorsed since Leroy Neiman painted him in a Mets uniform in 1978.
Willie was my inspiration! To me — a huge baseball fan — meeting him was more exciting than if I had met the President or some movie star….. No one could hit like Mays did!!
Meeting him was an unbelievable experience. And working with him has been indescribable. Not only is he the nicest of guys, but even though he is 79, almost 80, I think he is stronger than me. Every time I shake his hand he crushes mine!
Like all of Dave’s paintings, his portrait of Mays captures not only a moment of athletic greatness but a sense of timelessness, captured forever in a composition that lets the viewer experience that moment anew with each glance. Dave created the work with a proprietary medium he developed by “mixing charcoal and pastel dust — and a kicker I like to keep secret — and then applying it with brushes.”
A lifelong sports enthusiast with ambitions of a pro career, Dave’s life was changed at an early age when he was hit by a car, leaving both his legs shattered. His dreams of sports stardom finished, Dave regrouped and refocused his efforts toward exploring and honoring transcendent achievements in sports, and bringing them to fans and collectors through his art.
Unfortunately, in our busy society, those moments are rarer than we would like. Reading the box scores the morning after is no substitute for what makes us sports enthusiasts in the first place — feeling like you are a part of the action, experiencing the moment and that surge of emotion.
Willie Mays was famous for his sheer, unalloyed joy in playing the game, an enthusiasm he brought to his involvement with the community, particularly children. One of the most enduring images of Mays (which Dave might immortalize as a painting) is of him playing stickball with kids in his Harlem neighborhood. Fittingly, Hobrecht Sports Art is contributing a portion of all proceeds from “AMAYSING” prints to the Scottsdale Charros Excellence in Education Program. More information is available at hobrecht.com. Through their collaboration, Hobrecht is also helping Willie Mays with his Say Hey Foundation (williemays.com).
Dave will be showing AMAYSING and his other sports art at Artexpo New York. We hope Dave has a great Artexpo, and hits it right out of the park.