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The Second Baseman is an Artist on and off the Field



Long before Andres Gimenez, shortstop and second baseman for the Cleveland Guardians, became an MLB star, this Venezuelan native started drawing and painting at the age of nine years old to pass time.

That artistic talent led to a spring visit to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District's Tremont Montessori School to work beside Ms. Christine Linn's art class.

Gimenez's arrival at the school was met with a rousing rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" performed by the school's band.

Gimenez said he was happy to take time out of his busy playing schedule with the Guardians to participate because he wanted to be with the students.

"I felt a need to be here with the students and contribute whatever I could to enhance their artistic talent," Gimenez said. "I also wanted to answer any questions they might have. Participation in the art class is a good community outreach opportunity."

The idea for bringing Gimenez to Tremont went to local artist Augusto Bordelois, who owns Augusto Fine Art in Berea. Bordelois led the class in a step-by-step drawing exercise that illustrated the head of one of the Guardian statues that adorn the Hope Memorial Bridge in downtown Cleveland. He won't take full responsibility for Gimenez's appearance, however.

"Well, I didn't get myself involved," Bordelois said with a chuckle. "Megan Ganser, with the Guardians, got me involved. In the team's effort to get players out into the community, they look at subjects players are personally interested in. In Gimenez's case, it was drawing.”

As Bordelois stood in front of the class demonstrating how to create the deep lines and circles associated with the Guardian statue, students followed his lead, such as carefully turning a circle into a head. Gimenez patiently sat with the students. He worked on his own drawing while advising those around him.

Willa, a student in the art class, was thrilled to be part of the presentation. She also said she took some pride in knowing that it would make her dad jealous that she was able to hang out with Gimenez.

"I draw because it makes me happy," Willa said. "My dad has Gimenez’s jersey. He's definitely going to be jealous."

Bordelois' association with the school was created through the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning (CAL). His current project this spring is working with students to develop a plan to revitalize one of their outdoor classrooms. Through CAL, he also works at other CMSD buildings throughout the district.

Bordelois was chosen for the presentation because Ganser wanted a Latin-bilingual artist who is well-known in the art community.

Natalie Celeste, principal at Tremont Montessori, said the collaboration with Bordelois is a beautiful and essential message to send to the students.

"It's wonderful," she said. It's great to have our students see people they usually just see on television and as real people. The fact that Mr. Gimenez was sitting among the students and doing the same project, the humility of that."