Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras had a special relationship with former manager Joe Maddon, and that bond has been immortalized in an incredible new painting by a remarkable local artist.
Austin Ploch has become well-known in social media circles for his remarkable paintings of Cubs players, and after Maddon was let go by the Cubs following the season, Contreras reached out to him with an artwork request.
That request was to paint an iconic image of Contreras and Maddon embracing in the dugout prior to the skipper’s final game in charge of the Cubs, and Ploch’s work is remarkable:
“After their final game this year, Willson reached out and asked me to paint this for him,” Ploch said on social media. “Pretty clear how much Joe meant to these guys.”
Contreras paid tribute to Maddon after that game with an emotional Instagram post of his own:
Ploch has painted for Contreras before, putting together an incredible image of the catcher that was inspired by Contreras’ Venezuelan roots. Photos from July show Ploch showing the artwork to Contreras.
The artist has also created beautiful works honoring the Chicago Bears, and even posted a timelapse video of himself painting a portrait of Khalil Mack.