BULLPEN NEWSLETTER

A look into the person behind Roy Hobbs designs

BY GLENN MILLER
Roy Hobbs Baseball

 Roy Hobbs players, managers and umpires are familiar with the work of Columbus, Ohio, graphic artist Sean Jenkins.
They may not know his name but have seen his creations on the cover of Roy Hobbs programs and T-shirt designs and crisp layout of the Inside Pitch newsletter for more than 25 years.
 But few know Jenkins.

 Now they can learn more about him on Thursday evenings. That’s when Jenkins stages Facebook concerts in his home to benefit those in need during the coronavirus pandemic.
 He calls it “Covid Happy Hour with Ol Jenks.”
 He typically plays in bars in and near Columbus with his Billy Two Shoes Band, but that is not possible now. So, he connects with friends and fans through a streaming hour of music.  He started the COVID-19 Hour on March 26.
 Jenkins plays a mix of covers and original material. On a recent Thursday evening his mix included original songs as well as covers of Lynyrd Skynyd hits. He also sang “What A  Wonderful World,” an evocative ballad most famously performed by Louis Armstrong.
 Jenkins, 40, is like most Americans this spring, hunkered down at home. He and his companion, Nancy, leave the house to walk their dog, Mavis. That’s about it.
 Jenkins writes songs to ease the worry as the country works its way through the COVID-19 crisis. He calls them “silly songs.”
 These are some of his recent titles:
 “I Love You Like Toilet Paper.”
 “Pineapple Pizza.”
 “Corona Baby.”
 “Wine with DeWine Theme” (A Cheers parody). The DeWine in the title is a reference to Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.
 Jenkins misses the intimacy of playing in front of audiences.
 “It’s always nice to have that immediate reaction,” Jenkins said.
 The reaction on social media isn’t the same as being in the same room with other people but it is what it available now.
 Roy Hobbs Baseball ambassador Brian Mullen is a knowledgeable music fan and appreciates Jenkins.
 “Paul Simon meets Johnny Cash,” Mullen said of Jenkins’ melding of musical traditions and styles.
 Jenkins is in a band called Billy Two Shoes, which is also on the same philanthropic mission that he has undertaken, getting donations for local food banks. The band’s website carries this message: “We make music to feed people.”
 Sean Jenkins is one of those making music to feed people, both with the band and his Thursday concerts.
 How much longer will he continue the Thursday night shows?
 “As long as folks are out there listening,” Jenkins said.
 As he closed his April 16 show, Jenkins said, “Hope to see you next week.”
 And we all hope to see everybody in the Roy Hobbs Baseball family in the fall in Fort Myers.

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