Graphics Artist And Diehard New York Yankee fan John Grimwade, whose chart on page 60 illustrates how the Super Bowl-champion Washington Redskins acquired their players, knows very little about American football. But then, the 37-year-old Englishman knew very little about baseball until one summer evening last year; Grimwade, in New York City on business, was taken to Yankee Stadium to see his first game. The grass sparkled under the lights, Dave Winfield swung mightily, the Yanks beat the Rangers 3-1, and Grimwade was smitten.
The fledgling fan was a bit apprehensive, however, when ST design director Steven Hoffman approached him this spring and asked him to design charts for our BASEBALL '88 issue (April 4) and for the magazine's weekly INSIDE BASEBALL column. "At first, baseball looks like such a simple little game." says Grimwade, "but in about five minutes it's the most hideously complex thing you've ever seen."
With the help of senior editor John Papanek and a couple of books written for Little Leaguers, plus hours spent watching Yankee games on television, Grimwade has come a long way since that first game. "The fact that John's become a baseball fan absolutely stuns me," says Papanek. "Each week he has to learn a new chapter of baseball. None of these statistics is simple, and he's got to communicate visually to a bunch of fans who have known this stuff all their lives."
As a boy in Kent, Grimwade was an indifferent cricket and rugby player. The only baseball players he had even heard of were Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio. the latter "because DiMaggio was married to Marilyn Monroe." he says. After four years at the Canterbury College of Art, he free-lanced for magazines and newspapers, including the London Sunday Times, until moving to New York last winter to become graphic arts director for Traveler magazine, where he works four days a week.
August 28, 1988
When he's not watching his beloved Yankees, Grimwade can often be found at a bowling alley near the Greenwich Village apartment he shares with his wife, Joyce, and their son, Robert, 4. Joyce thinks his recent passion for baseball is "pretty bizarre and very American." Robert, though, already knows all the lyrics to Take Me Out to the Ball Game.
As for American football, Grimwade is keeping an open mind. "Now that the season is here," he says, "maybe I'll become a football fan too."