I know, I know, the timing might not be great today – too soon – but a new mural on the Near West Side shows a pair of Milwaukee baseball brothers: Hank and Tommie Aaron, who played for the Braves.
That, of course, was back when the Braves were heroes rather than spoilers.
Hank Aaron died in January. His younger brother Tommie died at age 45 in 1984 after a battle with leukemia. Both had long been active in the Braves organization after their playing days were over.
Hank, of course, was the longstanding MLB home run king. He ended his playing career wearing a Brewers uniform.
The mural, facing I-94 at 2222 W. Clybourn Ave., just west of the Marquette Interchange, was created by artist Rosy Petri, who, was inspired by her love of baseball and by research into the Negro Leagues and she said she wanted the work to touch on themes of racial justice and history.
“People identify with sports stories,” Petri said in a release. “This piece re-introduces Hank Aaron as not only a figure for philanthropy and social justice, but also a figure of integrity, professional prowess, and compassion.”
The mural is called “Brave Brothers” and is part of a series Petri has completed in Atlanta, called “Men and Women on the Negro Leagues.”
It is one of a series of eight murals in the Near West Side Partners’ “Painting the Near West Side” project.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.