Saturday, November 5, 2011

Ryan Vogelsong, the Squash

It isn't really Halloween if I don't do something crazy with a pumpkin, right?

For the past couple of All Hallows Eves, I carved two of the San Francisco Giants' more colorful players, Tim Lincecum and Brian Wilson. I had a lot of different thoughts about who to carve this year. An ode to Buster Posey seemed like it might have been in order after his season-ending injury, but his clean-cut, boyish face just didn't seem like it'd make that great a pumpkin. I thought Pablo Sandoval might be a good option, but couldn't find a picture I wanted to emulate. But I liked the idea of carving Ryan Vogelsong on a pumpkin. He's got that interesting goatee and the intense pitcher's eyes. And he had a great backstory...having been around the block several times and having been traded to the Pirates from the Giants about 10 years ago. Most, recently, he was playing in Japan. Then, he came back and earned a job in the Giants' starting rotation. It was super impressive and fun to watch. I wish I'd made it to one of his games, but I never did.

I started my latest pumpkin-carving adventure with this photo:
photo courtesy of Charles LeClaire, US Presswire

I enlarged it, altered it in Photoshop a bit and used it as a template, which I painstakingly transferred onto a rather large pumpkin. Then I started in with some of your standard carving tools that you can pick up at the supermarket...and a plain ol' kitchen knife.

This particular pumpkin, it turns out, was pretty dry and hard to carve. In the end, I needed to use a Dremel tool to get the not-cut-entirely-through parts deep enough for plenty of light to shine through.All told, I worked on it for two days, over 6-8 hours, I figure.The final product looked like this: It's always fun to light it up and realize that it really kicks some serious butt, even though it doesn't look like much when it's unlit on the kitchen table. I decided it needed the SF logo and added that at the last minute.

You may recall I won the Giants' pumpkin carving contest in 2009 with my Tim Lincecum pumpkin. I think this one turned out even better and I entered it as well. I haven't heard anything, so I'm going to assume I didn't win this time around, but I'm always ready to be surprised!

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