Thursday, June 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

An artistic Tropicana Field poster? Don't laugh, one's coming

S. Preston Chuhon is a sports fan who shows his passion through art.

Chuhon, a Canadian who now lives in Southern California and works as a graphic artist, is releasing minimalist-art posters of big-league ballparks. The series eventually will include all 30 MLB stadiums.

For the posters, Chuhon chooses an icon to represent a ballpark, such as the archway in his favorite work to date. "I really love the Yankee Stadium," Chuhon told tbt* in an email. "I had to break down a lot of the archway to honor my goal of minimalization, but still make it connect to the Yankee fans."

On his website, Chuhon, 41, said his artistic aim is to "break down something to its essence and make it highly identifiable using as little as possible."

Chuhon said the series idea began with Chase Field, home to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Tampa Bay Rays' expansion siblings. The Chase poster features the ballpark's swimming pool. ("It really didn't turn out as awesome as I wanted it. Maybe I should have added a bikini girl?" Chuhon joked.) He said his poster of Kauffman Stadium has really connected with Royals fans. "I've receive so many comments from KC about how accurate it feels, and most are surprised that I've never been to Kauffman before," he wrote.

So, we have to ask: How about our much-maligned Tropicana Field? Chuhon said a Trop poster will come "nearer to the end" of the series. "Mostly cause I don't know what to do … and as I'm typing, I just figured it out! LOL," he wrote. Preston, we're glad we could provide a little inspiration. Hmm. Will the stadium be represented by the Rays Touch Tank? How about one of its catwalks? The Tropicana Orange Juice sign? The dome all aglow after a win?

We can't wait.

To buy Chuhon's ballpark art, go to pootpoot1999.com.

COMING OUT

WWE wrestler: Well, actually, I happen to be gay

Talk about a story landing in your lap like a piledriver. WWE rising star Darren Young was at the baggage carousel at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday when gossip site TMZ caught up with him. TMZ asked him whether a gay wrestler could succeed in WWE, and Darren laughed. Then came the bombshell: "Absolutely. Look at me. I'm a WWE superstar and to be honest with you, I'll tell you right now, I'm gay. And I'm happy. I'm very happy." Of course, SportsTalk's initial reaction was: Is this just another WWE plotline? Young sounds sincere in the video, and the WWE later tweeted its support, saying it is proud of him for being open about his sexuality and that he has the organization's support. Fellow WWE star John Cena, according to Yahoo Sports said: "Good for him. That's fantastic … I know Darren personally. Darren's a great guy. That's a very bold move for him. And congratulations for him for actually finally doing it." Speaking of congratulations being in order, Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz has proposed marriage to his partner, Jose Manuel. Cruz, who announced last year that he is gay, made the proposal in a video posted on his Facebook page and his boyfriend has accepted. The AP points out that same-sex marriage isn't allowed in Puerto Rico or (boo!) Florida, where Cruz, 32, has a home. He fights Orlando Solido in October for the WBO featherweight title.

     
 
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