Artist's work pays tribute to baseball pioneers

Television includes artist's work in Negro League feature

Tom Munds
Artist Kyle Banister holds his artwork of Satchel Paige at the piano. Banister created it and other works of members of the Negro Baseball League that will be used as part of a television feature about the league's museum in Kansas City.
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Former Englewood resident and artist Kyle Banister responded to a request and created a number of paintings that were filmed for a Root Sports Television feature on the Negro Baseball League scheduled to air May 18 as part of the program “Rockies Weekly” that follows the Rockies game.
“I got a call asking me to do some art works of athletes who played in the Negro Baseball League that would be included in the TV feature,” Banister said. “The feature is being done because the Colorado Rockies are in Kansas City May 13 and 14 with plans for some of the players to visit the Negro Baseball Museum located there.”
Banister did a total of seven art works of Negro Baseball League players Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson and Willie Mays.
He said Paige played for the Kansas City Monarchs, Mays played for the Birmingham Black Barons and Gibson played for Homestead Grays. Paige and Mays both later played for teams in Major League Baseball. Gibson, said to be one of the greatest catchers and power hitters ever, never got to play in the then all-white majors.
“I used pictures on Google as models but then took artist license to create my artworks,” he said. “For example, probably the most famous picture of Satchel Paige was on Life Magazine of him in a Cleveland Indians uniform. My interpretation of that picture is a three-dimensional piece with Paige made out of aluminum, wearing a Monarchs uniform with his feet extended out of the frame. He is leaning against the brick wall made of sign foam.”
He said baseball is one of the favorite artwork subjects.
His seven works of Negro Baseball League players are hanging on the walls of Cuttin' it Loose Salon located at the northwest corner of South Inca Street and Englewood Parkway. He said the works will be at the salon for about a month or more.