ST. LOUIS — There is certainly a love of the sports teams in St Louis. James Kimball is deeply devoted to the Cardinals.
“Eighty percent of the decision why I wanted to move to St Louis is just so I could be close to my Cardinals,” he told 5 On Your Side.
He jokes with his wife about his loyalty. “I told my wife, one day you could leave me. I still have baseball."
He hoped his son would be born at Busch Stadium. “So. We were kind of hoping for that. You have a kid at the stadium that’s going to get, that’s going to be ESPN top 10,” he said.
Kimball’s son Ozzie wasn’t born at the stadium. But he is named after Cardinals Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith.
Kimball grew up in Oklahoma and was introduced to the game of baseball by his dad. “My dad got me into little league at the age of six. I had no idea what baseball was,” he said.
Baseball was just one of the introductions. Kimball’s dad also got him involved in art, or you could say he inherited his ability to draw.
“It was kind of born out of my dad’s ability. My dad was an artist,” he said.
Now he spends time in a room at his house marrying baseball to his art. He is working on a series of drawings featuring the St Louis Cardinals. Catcher Yadier Molina is one of his favorite players and subjects.
“There’s just something about his personality that’s great to capture. He’s just so interesting,” said Kimball.
He has taken interest in every little detail about Molina, including his ink.
“There’s not a part of that tattoo I don’t know what it is,” he explained.
Kimball’s drawing captures the man and the moments that are forever tattooed in the minds of Cardinal Nation.
“He’s been a part of so many winning moments,” he said
But Kimball doesn’t just replicate those moments. He tirelessly gives it his own twist.
“I see something else I want to do. Nothing is ever completed how I initially had it in mind,” he said.
He admits to staying up until 2 a.m. to finish a piece. He hopes that the work he’s putting into his artwork leads to a better life.
Kimball currently works as a chef but longs for the day he can consistently earn enough money to take care of his family.
“It’s a different future than what I have is what it means now,” he said.