His baseball career ended in Little League, but a Ventura man's name is in National Hall of Fame
Baseball fan channels his lifelong love of the sport into art. Some of his work is now on display at Cooperstown.
He grew up in Southern California as a die-hard baseball fan. As a boy, his father would take him to see games at Dodger Stadium.
While he loved baseball, he never wore more than a Little League uniform.
Yet, the Ventura man is currently a part of Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
"It's absolutely wild. My wife has the best words about it. Dream bigger than a dream," said Daniel Horine.
His love of baseball didn’t translate into his ability to play on the field. But, he became an all-star at art. He’s used his gifts off the field as an artist to create comic book style cover images of legendary baseball players, and events.
"It's combining baseball with the really expressive language of comic book art," said the Ventura artist.
But, mixing his love of art, and his passion for baseball took years to come together.
Horine became an artist and art director, working for an animation studio for several years, and then for a web company. But, as a sidebar, he would tinker with art about baseball. Two major events in his life made him decide to somehow focus the baseball art.
His father, who used to take him to Dodger games, died. And then, the pandemic hit. He says as a husband, the the father of a six-year-old, the trauma caused him to reflect back on his life. His hobby became his career.
The result was Pop Fly Pop shop, an online art store featuring Horine’s nostalgic art.
But trading in a conventional job to pursue his passion project was a big gamble. he says when he posted the first works, about a dozen sold each time. Horine says some former players embraced and supported the idea, which really helped.
He wants the works to be an experience. When someone buys one, it comes in a book, but the print is in an old-fashion brown paper bag, like a comic book. Each print comes with a package of vintage baseball cards. And, his business card comes with it, and it looks and feels like a ticket to a baseball game.
Now, there’s a series of his prints which are currently on display at Cooperstown. The baseball museum contacted him, asking to display some of his work. There's works honoring Boston's Green Monster outfield wall, players Andre Dawson and Dave Parker, and other historic moments and players, some eight prints in all.
The artist says his work is meant to be much more than art. To many of us, baseball represents younger, more innocent days from our childhoods.
Horine hopes that his baseball art can be like a “Field Of Dreams” for those who see it, bringing back happy memories from our childhoods. Link to Pop Fly Pop Shop.