In 2001, illustrator Mark Ulriksen told the San Francisco Chronicle that growing up, all he wanted to be was a center fielder for the San Francisco Giants. But over the years, his allegiances have gravitated to another MLB team, creating an ongoing professional conflict that he has talked about before.
This time around for The New Yorker, Ulriksen has illustrated Roger Angell’s story “S’Long Jeet” with a striking cover illustration of Derek Jeter. The Sept. 8 issue cover, the San Francisco-based artists insists, put him once again at odds:
“Jeter presents a conundrum for a Red Sox fan like me,” Ulriksen says about the cover. “I loathe the Yankees, but I appreciate and respect Jeter. No baseball fan can ever forget ‘the flip’ against the Oakland A’s in the playoffs. He’s a classic – humble, consistently spectacular, both at bat and in the field.”
“When he arrived 20 years ago, he helped to make the Yankees the best team in baseball (again!) for too many seasons. Commemorating his career with a farewell cover is something that I’m sure even the Red Sox Nation can forgive me for.”
Ulriksen has worked with Angell before. In 2002, he etched “Gone!”, an illustration of Giants home field AT&T Park:
“The park opened in 2000 and I painted this in 2002 after touring the offices of The New Yorker magazine. I was visiting from my native San Francisco when the esteemed baseball writer and New Yorker editor Roger Angell called me into his office.”
“He was enamored with this new ballpark and asked me to paint something and then he would write a story about it. Talk about dreams coming true! Armed with a press pass and video camera, I toured the park and decided that a painting set from right field would provide an excellent view of the park’s eccentricities.”