Pitchers and catchers report today to Goodyear, Arizona, kicking off spring training (and therefore the 2015 baseball season!) for my favorite team. Since 2008, I've marked this day by sharing a baseball illustration. After several years spotlighting players for this annual illustration, this year I want to celebrate fans.
(I'm also using this an opportunity to play around with some character design for a picture book manuscript I have in the works. This devoted baseball fan is named Ruby, and she's my protagonist.)
So let's hear it for the fans. Fans who care about the game way more than is reasonable, who cheer on their team through good times (1999! 2010! 2012!) and bad (2000-2009), who follow hundreds of games over 6+ months, and who (like Ruby here) put on their rally caps in critical dramatic moments because they can't stand to not do something to influence the game they love so much.
[Memory lane: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014]