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New! Hamerman's Home Runs

Diehard baseball devotee and whizz-bang writer Maura Johnston did us the honor of introducing today's Don Hamerman edition releases—Untitled 2012 and Holstein—and we think she hit it out of the park.

Holstein by Don Hamerman
8"x8" ($24) | 11"x11" ($60) | 16"x16" ($240) |  24"x24" ($1,200) 

When tapped to talk about our newest Don Hamerman editions, Holstein and Untitled 2012, Maura waxed poetic on the wonders of America's favorite pastime

At 8:07 p.m. tonight, the first pitch will be thrown in the 111th World Series, which this year pits the American League's Kansas City Royals against the National League's New York Mets. The Mets have had my heart for some 30 years now, ever since my parents took me to Helmet Day at Shea Stadium to watch them play against the Montreal Expos.

I've stuck with the team through good times and bad, and this year I feel particularly twinned with the fates of the Mets. The team's roster is full of rootable characters — the young and electric pitching rotation, the relentless offense, the eye-poppingly productive Daniel Murphy, the shrewd manager Terry Collins. Not to mention Mets lifer David Wright, whose year veered from a possibly career-ending diagnosis in May to marveling at his team's league championship five months later. And the relentless drive of the team to keep coming back, even when things looked not just dire but embarrassing, gave me a charge to keep going.

Untitled (2012) by Don Hamerman
8"x8" ($24) | 11"x11" ($60) | 16"x16" ($240) |  24"x24" ($1,200) 
As an expat, I also treasure the Mets' broadcast team, made up of the smoothly sage Gary Cohen, the spiky, tangent-prone Keith Hernandez, and the cerebral Ron Darling. Darling in particular has made me think differently about all aspects of the game, with the former Mets starter's thoughts on the movement of the ball as it travels from the pitcher's throwing hand to home plate providing particularly thrilling insights.

Those detailed descriptions of the physics of pitching flashed into my mind when I first saw Don Hamerman's Untitled 2012 and Holstein, both of which depict baseballs that have been around the block and then some. As part of the Connecticut-based photographer's Found Baseballs series, both these images represent baseballs that have happened into his life; the battle scars on them are evidence of their travels, the whacks they've taken and the mitts they've landed in softly. These are balls with tales lurking in each of their scuffs and seams.

The balls used in this week's Major League Baseball championship will be fresh, their stories waiting to be written until the crowds have filled Kaufmann Stadium and Citi Field. Hamerman's photos are a touching reminder that even those baseballs only used for a single pitch can be imbued with rich histories for fans, players, and even those people who happen across a ball unexpectedly.

With art for everyone,
Maura Johnston