Mural’s a knockout
Artist recalls Nolan Ryan’s 1993 punches with Deep Ellum image
Sports stations showed the video on loop for weeks: In 1993, Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox charged the mound and pitcher Nolan Ryan during a Texas Rangers baseball game in Arlington.
Ventura was 20 years younger, but Ryan caught him in a headlock and punched him six times.
Those punches are infamous. And they now have a home in Deep Ellum.
On Tuesday, Dallas-area muralist Izk Davies painted a mural of the altercation on the east side of the bar Wits End, at the corner of Elm and Crowdus streets in Deep Ellum. It’s a striking image — pun very much intended. The 10-by-10foot painting is now completed — and ready for selfies.
DJ Edgar Blue — Davies’ bandmate in the local improvisational hip-hip group CoLab — initially planned
to use the space on the wall as a calendar for his old school hip-hop events at Wits End. But Davies says the two started discussing “classic Texas icon imagery” and Ryan’s altercation with Ventura came up.
“I’ve always loved that image and wanted to make it a mural,” says Davies, who already has several murals in the neighborhood. “It will be an eye-catcher.”
Davies acknowledges that Rougned Odor’s altercation with Jose Bautista last year is fresher in Rangers fans’ minds. But he likes the feeling behind the Ryan punch.
“Nolan Ryan will punch you in the face if you rush him,” the artist says. “I like the idea of defending home and not letting outsiders push us around. That’s the feeling I get from it.”
Dallas-area artist Izk Davies adds promotional lettering to his mural of the Nolan Ryan punch scene, now ready for selfies on the Crowdus Street side of Wits End in Deep Ellum.
Izk Davies adds detail to the top of Robin Ventura’s head, caught in Ryan’s headlock.