brewers baseball and things

“Illuminating the Joe”


The artwork for Dreaming .400 was initially going to be a baseball field with fans flocking to it in every imaginable way, by boat and canoe, stage coach, train, and good old fashioned one foot in front of the other.

But like anything else, plans and designs are meant to be changed. I remember hearing about a subway system in Seville, Spain that was partially built. The jackhammers had ripped up cement squares; a few building had been knocked down when uh-oh, the underground area was said “to not be conducive to excessive drilling” so they patched it up like nothing had ever happened, jewel thieves in the night.

But what the hell, it lowered unemployment for a while, a sort of New Deal in an ooops sort of way,  Maybe not a bad idea in today’s world. Maybe in northern Canada, just below Nunavut, they could build a massive amusement park and put to work all of these refugees pouring into Europe from Syria and Lebanon before realizing that the cold harsh northern climate was “not conducive to an amusement park construction.”

Canada would then be stuck with thousands of refugees and maybe that’s not a bad thing, immigrants tilling the frozen soil-making something out of nothing? Or maybe I should keep my day job since I’m an immigrant too. I work at a hospital, delivering things and it’s warm in there, but back to to the cover the art. The publisher and I both noticed it on line without either of us knowing what the other one was doing. I think that’s a biblical occurrence or a proverb or something? Ya know, like not letting your right hand know what your left hand is doing or maybe I’m mixing up apples?

skinnyAnyway, Judy McSween is the artist and the painting  is called “Illuminating the Joe.” I love that name. Love the painting too. Looks like a dream which goes well with the title of the book-Dreaming .400. She’s a teacher and mother of three or four kids.

The painting is a sunset falling behind Joseph P. Riley Jr. Stadium in Charleston, South Carolina. Joe Riley – the person – was a big player in the stadium’s construction back in 1997. The stadium is currently home to the Charleston River Dogs of the Class Single A-South Atlantic League (New York Yankees affiliate). I sort of cringed when I found out the Yankees were involved, but I don’t really care. I love the Yankees just like I love Darth Vadar and all the forces in the universe that inspire me to stand taller and fight.  

Anyway, the Charleston River Dogs were previoulsy an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays. And before that-the Rangers, Padres, and Royals. Different masks, but same beautiful baseball going on.

The stadium is also home to the Citadel Bulldogs.


Author: Steve Myers

I grew up in Milwaukee and have been a Milwaukee Brewers baseball fan for as long as I can remember.

10 thoughts on ““Illuminating the Joe”

  1. I like it. She do anything else we should know about?

    • v, I think that’s the only baseball related painting she did, but in searching for cover art, I came across some others. One of these posts, I’ll share those.

  2. I think that you made a good choice for the cover art. It reminds me of the time of day in a late afternoon game just before the stadium lights come on. Ω

    • Thanks Allan. There were some others I really liked, but one of the practical factors considered was that this painting has impressive colors that don’t seem to get lost when it’s a small thumbnail which is often the case on line, people purchasing digital copies and what not.

  3. I like the cover a great deal. It fits the mood of dreaminess and all that— you know—- Dreaming .300. You didn’t make it clear, though, whether you selected the picture by this woman or the publisher selected it. And can you e-mail me the original cover? I’m curious as to what it looked like.

    I hear that Charleston is an allright town. A very historical town, in the tradition of Savannah, Georgia, which is where the first synagogue in the Southern United States was built and still stands and, as far as I know, is still being used. But I have a friend who lives in the Glendale section of Queens who used to live in North Charleston, which is north of Charleston, as you would guess, and he tells me that it’s a city with a lot of problems. In fact, Bill and I were discussing North Charleston in e-mail conversation just yesterday.

    It would have been cool if you chose Charleston, West Virginia instead of Charleston, South Carolina because another friend of mine who lives in Westchester County, New York, manages and plays for a team in an over-30 baseball league (not softball, but baseball), and he named his team the Peekskill Alley Cats after the Charleston Alley Cats, the Charleston being Charleston, West Virginia. He has since changed the name of his over-30 league team after many years of calling it the Alley Cats, though. I just thought that the Alley Cats was a cool name for a baseball team.


  4. It’s beautiful … and I can imagine the fans flocking to it … on foot, boat and canoe, stage coach and train. I think it’s a perfect fit for your words.

  5. I really like the cover art. The artist is very talented. Great choice for your cover.
    I was just in Charleston with my family back in June. I should have checked out the ballpark. Next time, I will.

    • Thanks Bill. I haven’t been to many minor league parks, maybe two or three, but they seem to be filled with more possibilities, maybe because there’s less to lose for both players and fans? or at least less to lose than that major league scene. It would be great to head on over to “The Joe,” on an off day for the RiverDogs and play us some ball.