People are often surprised to hear that beisbol (baseball), not soccer, is the most popular sport in Nicaragua. It's understandable since our neighbors in Honduras and Costa Rica simply love soccer. But no, in Nicaragua baseball is "el deporte rey" (the king of sports).
Some say baseball's popularity started with the occupation of Nicaragua by the US Marines in 1920, others say it was Nicaragua's president Adan Cardenas. One thing is certain - no other sport captivates Nicaragua like baseball.
When I was little, there was no stadium in my hometown, so we played baseball in the plaza in front of the church. In the summer after the harvest, we played baseball in spite of the afternoon heat. Some of my fondest memories are of playing ball in that plaza.
With this painting I celebrate baseball and the joy that millions of people around the world feel and share the moment the umpire shouts: Play ball!