Cubs Win NLCS Trophy – Shimrock Wood Art –

Notes from Shim

Warren C. Giles Trophy awarded to the winner of the NLCS (National League Championship Series)
Writing by Dana Shimrock
In the Spring of 2014, a representative of the National Baseball League contacted me. He had received a recommendation from someone familiar with my work who knew I had done some sports trophies and other larger commissions. He wanted to know if I was interested in designing a new Warren C. Giles trophy for the National Baseball League, and if I could submit some portfolio work for the executive committee to review. They then reviewed my portfolio and asked me to submit renderings for a new trophy. Once I completed the design proposals, I conferred with the MLB trophy committee to arrive at a final design and began getting to work.

The original Warren C. Giles trophy was created in 1967. The trophy stays with the winner of the NCLS (National League Championship Series) for the entire year, until the completion of the next baseball season, when it moves on to the home of the next winners of the NCLS.

When designing the piece, I wanted to pay homage to the original Giles trophy, and therefore maintained some of the original elements, while at the same time modernizing the trophy and creating my own artistic interpretation.

The original trophy had 16 columns to represent the 16 teams at the start of the League; but, that number kept changing, which was one of the reasons the League wanted a new trophy. Therefore, I retained some of the column design, but did not want those columns to represent a finite number, so they were placed on the 5 points of the home plate-shaped motif that I created.

The wooden baseball at the top of the original trophy was significant, so I included it in the design, but rather than wood it is cast it in bronze, then plated in nickel and 24 carat gold.

The original trophy was all square, but I wanted to create a more unique shape. I decided to not have a single right angle anywhere, and I chose to use the shape of home plate as the central motif. The plates were cut into aluminum to reduce weight, then plated in nickel and trimmed in black nickel. Many thanks to Mike Goetz of Augustine Die and Mold in Somerset, PA, and his workers, for their expertise in helping to design the infrastructure that makes the trophy strong enough to be handled by the wildly excited ball players that receive it!

All of the wood was Koa, the only true figured American exotic…The columns were turned on a lathe then capped with finials plated in nickel/24carat gold.

Now the really challenging part was the creation of the center piece that displayed baseball players in action poses. I wanted to retain the concept of action figures that were on the original trophy, but I did not want to have the normal scratch type engravings, so the hunt was on to find an engraver that would have the ability to create a process that would allow me to get the intaglio effect for the action player figures. Seven months into the project, I found an embossing die company, Metal Magic out of Phoenix, AR, and convinced them that we could work together to achieve the sharp detail I needed. They normally only work on embossing dies in flat surfaces of brass, so I had to convince them that if they could engrave what I designed, I could cut out the sides and solder them together for the final sculptural piece. It was the toughest soldering job I have ever attempted and after much nervous anticipation, it, thankfully, came out just the way I wanted it to look. After that central sculpture was assembled and finished, it was also plated in nickel/24 gold.

The base for the center structure was acid etched with the signatures of all the past presidents of the National League.

Working in, what I now call the “longest-EVER slide into home plate” I was definitely pushed to the limits of my abilities and patience. The learning curve I experienced left me with a new found sense of confidence in the fact that “it can be done” with enough perseverance and passion, no matter how difficult and challenging the job, and that is a gift that will stay with me. Not to mention the thrill of seeing the new Warren G. Giles trophy raised in the air by Tom Ricketts, owner of the Chicago Cubs, after the Cubs triumphed over the LA Dodgers 5-0 in the historic game 6 of the NLCS. This was the first time the Cubs have earned a trip to the World Series since 1945! I like to think maybe the new trophy was a good luck charm and helped to break the 70 year long drought the Chicago Cubs endured before winning the 2016 National League Championship Series. If the Cubs win the World Series, it will be their first championship since 1908!

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A few weeks back I got the chance to meet an amazing local wood artist, Tom Shimrock (Shimbo). I was invited out to his art studio to grab some shots of the latest piece of Shimrock Wood Art. The recently completed National League Championship Series Trophy… before he shipped it off to New York.

Now that the Trophy has been awarded to Cubs owner Tom Ricketts, after their triumph over the Dodgers two days ago, I thought I’d share Shimbo’s triumph in the creation of such an amazing piece of work.

There’re so many intricacies…from the Koa wood structure to the gold relief carving. Below is a small collection of images, along with the NLCS trophy hand-off video to the Cubs

Instagram Takeover for AAC

I’m Feeling super stoked to be featured by one of the predominant climbing/outdoor organizations I follow (and proud member of). This week I got invited to takeover the American Alpine Club’s Instagram account.

Today is day 4 of the Instagram takeover, and I’m searching for something fresh to post… I went cross country skiing last night out to Coopers Rock, and I think one of those photos might be today’s bid for attention…we’ll see. I haven’t decided yet.

Coopers; Rock; Adventure; Night; Ski; Adventure; Adventure Photography; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Light Painting; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Places; Seasons; Snow; Trees; WV; West Virginia; Winter; adventure sports; cross country; light beams; night; ski; Instagram Takeover

A few days before I started the takeover, I ran some data query’s via the Instagram API on AAC’s account. Without digging too hard, I found a few nuggets of data that have really helped me maximize my outreach this week on the AACgram. I plan to write a how-to post on conducting your own Instagram Analytics using Excel and the Instagram API…so stay tuned for that in the next week or so.

Below are my photos thus far, Featured by American Alpine Club on their Instagram.

(update)- I did use the night skiing picture yesterday.

 

Overlooking the Moon

Writing by Dylan Jones – Photos by Gabe DeWitt

Surrounded by a mess of skis, poles, boots and bags, we piled into the Land Cruiser with high hopes. The moon was just starting to wane, but remained full enough to set the snowy forest ablaze with white brilliance. Like moths to the flame, we set out to chase the light of our lone satellite.

Coopers; Rocks; Skiing; Winter; Storm; Jonas; Adventure; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Coopers Rocks Foundation; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Friends; Jonas; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Nikon 1424mm f2.8; Nikon D800; Overlook; Places; Seasons; Snow; White Grass; Wide angle; Winter; Winter Storm; Winter Storm Jonas; blizzard; cross country; down hill; full moon; moon; moonlight; night; roadside trail; snow storm; storm; xc skiing

We rallied in the parking lot around 9:45, loading up with libations while stamping boots into bindings. A few eerie clouds lingered near the moon, radiating diffused shades of grey, purple and yellow as they drifted eastward. But tonight, the moon would win.
Coopers; Rocks; Skiing; Winter; Storm; Jonas; Adventure; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Coopers Rocks Foundation; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Friends; Jonas; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Nikon 1424mm f2.8; Nikon D800; Overlook; Places; Seasons; Snow; White Grass; Wide angle; Winter; Winter Storm; Winter Storm Jonas; blizzard; cross country; down hill; full moon; moon; moonlight; night; roadside trail; snow storm; storm; xc skiing

We could see deep into the hardwood forest. The gangly shadows of oaks, maples and cherry trees stretched across the snow as if the bony fingers of Old Man Winter himself were reaching toward our every move.

Coopers; Rocks; Skiing; Winter; Storm; Jonas; Adventure; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Coopers Rocks Foundation; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Friends; Jonas; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Nikon 1424mm f2.8; Nikon D800; Overlook; Places; Seasons; Snow; White Grass; Wide angle; Winter; Winter Storm; Winter Storm Jonas; blizzard; cross country; down hill; full moon; moon; moonlight; night; roadside trail; snow storm; storm; xc skiing

Cross country skiing is quite rhythmic. There’s something about the icy scrape of skis on trail, the way the syncopated stab of poles accompanies the foggy blast of heavy breath.

Coopers; Rocks; Skiing; Winter; Storm; Jonas; Adventure; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Coopers Rocks Foundation; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Friends; Jonas; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Nikon 1424mm f2.8; Nikon D800; Overlook; Places; Seasons; Snow; White Grass; Wide angle; Winter; Winter Storm; Winter Storm Jonas; blizzard; cross country; down hill; full moon; moon; moonlight; night; roadside trail; snow storm; storm; xc skiing

Stop for a moment and look around, however—silence. The woods during a winter’s night are as dormant as Death Valley at high noon. With no canopy to reverberate sound waves, noise slips away into the dark hollows as quickly as it pings the ear drum.

Coopers; Rocks; Skiing; Winter; Storm; Jonas; Adventure; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Coopers Rocks Foundation; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Friends; Jonas; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Nikon 1424mm f2.8; Nikon D800; Overlook; Places; Seasons; Snow; White Grass; Wide angle; Winter; Winter Storm; Winter Storm Jonas; blizzard; cross country; down hill; full moon; moon; moonlight; night; roadside trail; snow storm; storm; xc skiing

If a skier glides through a forest and there’s no one there to hear her, does she make a noise? Coopers; Rocks; Skiing; Winter; Storm; Jonas; Adventure; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Coopers Rocks Foundation; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Friends; Jonas; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Nikon 1424mm f2.8; Nikon D800; Overlook; Places; Seasons; Snow; White Grass; Wide angle; Winter; Winter Storm; Winter Storm Jonas; blizzard; cross country; down hill; full moon; moon; moonlight; night; roadside trail; snow storm; storm; xc skiing The trail had been broken, and the snow compaction of the day’s warmer temps followed by a dip below the freezing mark cemented our predecessors’ marks like a luge. The snow was fast. At times, it felt as if we were pioneers travelling an arctic rail line—a team of sled dogs would not have been out of place.

Coopers; Rocks; Skiing; Winter; Storm; Jonas; Adventure; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Coopers Rocks Foundation; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Friends; Jonas; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Nikon 1424mm f2.8; Nikon D800; Overlook; Places; Seasons; Snow; White Grass; Wide angle; Winter; Winter Storm; Winter Storm Jonas; blizzard; cross country; down hill; full moon; moon; moonlight; night; roadside trail; snow storm; storm; xc skiing We swiftly reached the overlook, rewarded with a completely cloudless sliver of sky over the Cheat River.

Coopers; Rocks; Skiing; Winter; Storm; Jonas; Adventure; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Coopers Rocks Foundation; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Friends; Jonas; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Nikon 1424mm f2.8; Nikon D800; Overlook; Places; Seasons; Snow; White Grass; Wide angle; Winter; Winter Storm; Winter Storm Jonas; blizzard; cross country; down hill; full moon; moon; moonlight; night; roadside trail; snow storm; storm; xc skiing

As a cosmic mirror delivering the sun’s photons to our retinas, the moon effortlessly outshined most stars. Orion the Hunter triumphantly stood watch over Snake Hill, his star strung bow aimed directly at Morgantown—part of me wished Zues himself would have commanded his giant huntsman to pierce the Longview Powerplant, temporarily affording us a viewshed sans light pollution.

Coopers; Rocks; Skiing; Winter; Storm; Jonas; Adventure; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Coopers Rocks Foundation; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Friends; Jonas; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Nikon 1424mm f2.8; Nikon D800; Overlook; Places; Seasons; Snow; White Grass; Wide angle; Winter; Winter Storm; Winter Storm Jonas; blizzard; cross country; down hill; full moon; moon; moonlight; night; roadside trail; snow storm; storm; xc skiing

A pleasantly warm breeze ensconced our crew as we shared snacks and beverages under the brilliant canopy of the cosmos.

Coopers; Rocks; Skiing; Winter; Storm; Jonas; Adventure; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Coopers Rocks Foundation; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Friends; Jonas; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Nikon 1424mm f2.8; Nikon D800; Overlook; Places; Seasons; Snow; White Grass; Wide angle; Winter; Winter Storm; Winter Storm Jonas; blizzard; cross country; down hill; full moon; moon; moonlight; night; roadside trail; snow storm; storm; xc skiing

I couldn’t help but think back to the moth and the flame, how humanity flocks to live under the light bubbles of its great cities. Some of the greatest discoveries and advancements of humankind were derived from those who turned their gaze to the heavens. Without access to the night sky, how do we know our place in the universe? How many people live full lives without spending a night splayed out on a riverbank, staring up at the humbling, gaseous arm of the Milky Way?
Coopers; Rocks; Skiing; Winter; Storm; Jonas; Adventure; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Coopers Rocks Foundation; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Friends; Jonas; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Nikon 1424mm f2.8; Nikon D800; Overlook; Places; Seasons; Snow; White Grass; Wide angle; Winter; Winter Storm; Winter Storm Jonas; blizzard; cross country; down hill; full moon; moon; moonlight; night; roadside trail; snow storm; storm; xc skiing

Eventually, we had to return our gaze to terra firma. It was time to head back, but Mother Nature had one more tribulation in store for us. Right on time, intermittent clouds rolled in as we slid back into the forest. The temperature fluctuated just above and just below that magical 32 degree point, causing our skis to collect snow as hard as concrete while we tried to remain graceful.

Coopers; Rocks; Skiing; Winter; Storm; Jonas; Adventure; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Coopers Rocks Foundation; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Friends; Jonas; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Nikon 1424mm f2.8; Nikon D800; Overlook; Places; Seasons; Snow; White Grass; Wide angle; Winter; Winter Storm; Winter Storm Jonas; blizzard; cross country; down hill; full moon; moon; moonlight; night; roadside trail; snow storm; storm; xc skiing    Coopers; Rocks; Skiing; Winter; Storm; Jonas; Adventure; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Coopers Rocks Foundation; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Friends; Jonas; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Nikon 1424mm f2.8; Nikon D800; Overlook; Places; Seasons; Snow; White Grass; Wide angle; Winter; Winter Storm; Winter Storm Jonas; blizzard; cross country; down hill; full moon; moon; moonlight; night; roadside trail; snow storm; storm; xc skiing

After the efficient journey to the overlook and the perfectly timed sky, surely something had to go awry.
Coopers; Rocks; Skiing; Winter; Storm; Jonas; Adventure; By Gabe DeWitt; Coopers Rock; Coopers Rocks Foundation; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Friends; Jonas; Long Exposure; Night Photography; Nikon 1424mm f2.8; Nikon D800; Overlook; Places; Seasons; Snow; White Grass; Wide angle; Winter; Winter Storm; Winter Storm Jonas; blizzard; cross country; down hill; full moon; moon; moonlight; night; roadside trail; snow storm; storm; xc skiing

Around 1:00 in the morning, the last of our party tromped across the finish line, glad to kick off the skis that hindered her return. Exhausted, sweaty and euphoric, we slumped our tired bodies over the mess of ski gear and, like the moth to the flame, returned to our bright city.

Squirt Boating Video

Within the world of outdoor adventure there are many subsets of interests, each with their own rabbit hole of fascination and intrigue. This video is found at the bottom of one of these rabbit holes…

In the subset of water sports, there is whitewater boating. Within the whitewater boaters we have another subset—kayakers. And, of those gnarly bunch we have another subset who label themselves squirt boaters.

In squirt boating, paddlers with neither paddle nor PFD ride currents underwater in sleek crafts designed in part to sink and ride the subsurface flows.

This is my first video I’ve ever made using video files… normally i stick to photos, and my videos have been time-lapses comprised of hundreds or thousands of photos.

I had been trying to capture photos of them in the turbulence, but when I asked Jim what type of media squirt boaters prefer… he replied video! So, I swtiched the GoPro to video for the first time and had at it.

Like the photo below, I would dive down into the flow, but instead of letting it take me, I’d latch on to a rock with my free hand, gopro in the other. Fortunately, I can hold my breath for well over a minute.

The real fun was after Jim and Jesse would paddle past my position, I’d launch off after them into the torrent.

swimming in the rapids

Garret swimming in the Alley