Aaron Judge, Adidas, and Me

Here’s a fun little story for you. Two weeks ago on Thursday night, I met up with a very nice art customer at a very nice Irish Pub up in Woodlawn, and was treated to too many very nice pints of Guinness and shots of Jameson. I woke up the next morning with my muscles sore and my head pounding, and decide to swing by The Yankee Twin Eatery for some coffee and to grab some of my paint brushes for some morning painting. The plan was to head to the Bronx Zoo, do some watercolors of the animals while nursing a beer for my hangover, come home, nap, then be back at the Twin by 4 or 5pm in tip-top shape to do that night’s live-painting. When I get there, though, there’s a line of people down the block all wearing these interesting Aaron Judge t-shirts that I had never seen before. Turns out, if you had gone to the Manhattan Adidas store the night before and purchased said shirt, you got entry into a free meet & greet with Judge taking place at the sports bar right next door to the Twin.

At this point it’s 10am. Judge is getting there at noon. I look at the line of people and wonder if it’s worth setting up my easel outside and doing a little live-painting right then and there, and if I can get something halfway decent done in just two hours. Then I say, fuck it. I’m Craig Mahoney. Of course I can. David Wells pitched his perfect game with a hangover. I can do this. So, I get started, and as I’m going some of the Adidas people start coming by, asking questions, taking pictures, and eventually ask me that if they buy the painting can I put the Adidas logo on it? I explain that if you pay me enough I will paint any damn thing you want.

So, I struggle through and finish the picture up around 12:30, head inside to give it to the Adidas folks, and run into them just as they’re about to bring Aaron downstairs to meet his (extremely) adoring public. I hand him the painting, we shake hands and chat for a second, he asks about the painting and compliments me, and I break his balls about making me feel short. Then, he says thank you, goes to leave, but I grab him real quick, look him in the eye, and tell him to go kick the Red Sox ass that weekend. He looks at me, nods, smiles, and says “Oh, we will.” And they DID! Handily, I might add. So, not only is he a great player and a good guy, but also a man of his word. He’s also very good at being famous. Good head on his shoulders. The Yanks definitely got lucky.

The whole thing happened so fast, though, that I wasn’t able to get any good pics or video of the exchange. This is all I was able to get on my own and from a pair of friends who were there. The pics I have are below. Enjoy.

Interesting postscript to this story: That night I did a live painting of Thurman Munson before the game and somehow managed to finish THAT in 2 1/2 hours as well. As I’m finishing, two of my father’s neighbors come up to say hi. They’re up on a bus trip from his retirement community, and have an extra ticket that they give to me. By the time we got in our assigned seats were taken, so we just sat in this weirdly empty row at the front of the group. Turns out that row belonged to the group in front of us, some realtors, but something got screwed up with their tickets. At one point a rep from Yankees group sales comes out to apologize to them with a bag of New Era caps for them all as a makeup gift. The woman in charge ended up with a few extra, so she gave them to the three of us. Also, while I was in the game another customer of mine messaged me and bought the Thurman painting. So, to recap: Woke up with a hangover, finished – and sold – two paintings, made my first corporate sale, met Aaron Judge, got a free t-shirt, a free hat, and a free seat to watch the Yanks beat the Red Sox. All-in-all just a great and weird day of falling bass-ackwards into good shit.



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