Sportress of Blogitude

Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery To Unveil Painting Of Pedro Martinez

(don't let my MSPaint artistry fool you - this is not the real portrait)

Presidents, American heroes…Pedro?

Joining such classic and treasured portraits such as the revered Landsdowne portrait of George Washington in the National Portrait Gallery will be a painting of eight-time All-Star and three-time Cy Young Award winner Pedro Martinez. I know. Weird. According to the Smithsonian’s press release, Martinez’s portrait will be the first painting exhibited at the Gallery to feature a Major League baseball player. The portrait, painted in 2000 by Susan Miller-Havens with oil and beeswax on Baltic Birch, is most certainly a finely crafted piece of art, but am I the only one who finds it a tad bizarre that they elected to go with Pedro? Are there not other legendary baseball players who might be more deserving of such an honor? Aren’t there paintings of Babe Ruth, Ted Williams or Doc Ellis out there? Don’t get me wrong, Pedro Martinez was a fine baseball player and by all accounts, a decent human being (although Don Zimmer might disagree – on the other hand, Nelson De La Rosa would support that assertion, God rest his tiny soul), but nevertheless, what an odd choice.

Pedro’s portrait will be officially unveiled in Washington on Thursday and Pedro is expected to attend the event.

Actual portrait of Pedro follows.

Certainly an impressive piece. And Martin Sullivan, the director of the museum, couldn’t be more thrilled to have among the National Portrait Gallery’s collection:

“We are thrilled to include this portrait of Pedro Martinez in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection. Martinez is widely recognized as one of the great Major League Baseball pitchers who also is concerned for the well-being of his larger community.”

Indeed. Personally, I like the piece, but I can’t quite put my finger on exactly why…perhaps this explains my feelings best:

Yep. Works for me.

National Portrait Gallery Presents Portrait of Pedro Martinez [Newsdesk]
Smithsonian unveiling portrait of Cy Young winner Martinez [CBS Sports]