White Sox coach Jerry Narron brings impressive aesthetic to roster cards

CHICAGO (CBS) — If you’ve seen a photo of the White Sox lineup card from the past two seasons, you’ve probably noticed that they look a little different – with writing evoking old times.

As CBS 2’s Matt Zahn reported on Tuesday, it’s the work of White Sox Major League coach Jerry Narron — and he’s been working on it for a long time. Narron has a specific color scheme.

“Right-handed hitters go black, I do switch hitters blue and right-handed hitters go red,” he said.

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But that’s far from the only thing that stands out. Narron fills in the lineup sheets with a rarely seen attention to detail – and it all started in 1993.

“Johnny Oates was the manager of the Orioles, and when I first coached his team, he asked me if I would do the rosters,” Narron said. “I just wanted to do the best I could and do something a little different.”

Narron says he is self-taught and has perfected the art of calligraphy over the years. In fact, he’s gotten so good, it’s unbelievable.

We wanted to know – when players first see it, what is their reaction?

“Whether it’s printed, whether it’s computer generated,” Narron said.

So he makes them come and see for themselves.

“They come and watch, then they want to try, and they make a mess,” Narron said. “I think they appreciate it even more when they try it.”

Players also appreciate when they can use the card to commemorate unique events, such as a Major League debut or a historic day at the ballpark.

“Every day I write this, I hope someone hits four home runs, or throws a no-hitter or perfects something,” he said. “I kind of do it with the idea that it’s going to be used to mark a special occasion.”

Narron retained a few of his own roster cards, including one from when he was with the Cincinnati Reds.

“When I was with the Reds, George W. Bush came in, kicked the first ball one day and he signed (the roster card) for me. I didn’t even know it, but he was with Rangers before. I was with Rangers, so there was a bit of experience there – but he signed it, and he’s one of the few I kept.

Each of Narron’s programming cards includes a special Hebrew message at the top. It is an ode to his daughter who lives in Israel.

“She’s been there for 12 years, she has dual nationality. So I always put ‘shalom’ up here in Hebrew, which not many people know what it means up there. They think it’s hieroglyphs , but it’s really Hebrew,” Narron said. . “and I also write the names of Japanese or Asian players in kanji, or in Chinese characters.”

How did he learn to do this?

“I can’t tell you. I first learned by translating. They’re all different. You know, you look and you think, ‘Wow, they’re all different,'” Narron said. “But the Asian players – when they see it, they really like it.”

And there’s another message in all of this that goes beyond putting a name on a map.

“I feel very lucky to be in baseball. This is my 48th year as a player, coach or manager – and everything I do on the field, I try to do to the best of my abilities. “, Narron said. “I was lucky to have parents who said, ‘If you dig a ditch, dig it to the best of your ability,’ and that’s what I try to do.”

And there’s no arguing – his composition cards are the best.

Narron says players have asked him to make wedding invitations. He said it was something he had tried to avoid – although he had done it several times for friends.

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