Building A Baseball Star, Lego By Lego Visiting teams get more than fresh towels and cereal bars in the visitors' clubhouse at the Cleveland Indians' Progressive Field. These days, there is some distinctive artwork on the walls: portraits of players created in Legos by assistant clubhouse manager Wayne Peltz.
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Building A Baseball Star, Lego By Lego

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Building A Baseball Star, Lego By Lego

Building A Baseball Star, Lego By Lego

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

Visiting teams get more than fresh towels and cereal bars in the visitors' clubhouse when they come to play the Indians at Cleveland's Progressive Field. These days, there's some distinctive artwork on the walls: portraits of players created in Legos by assistant clubhouse manager Wayne Peltz. He joins us now from WCPN in Cleveland.

So who have you Lego'd?

Mr. WAYNE PELTZ (Assistant Clubhouse Manager, Cleveland Indians): Oh, let's see. I started off with doing Jim Thome. And I've done Bob Feller.

SIMON: Greatest Cleveland Indian pitcher of all time, couldn't we say?

Mr. PELTZ: Correct. I mean, probably greatest Cleveland Indian of all time.

SIMON: Yeah.

Mr. PELTZ: And I finished up a Mariano Rivera and a Dontrelle Willis this week.

SIMON: How did you get the idea to do this? I mean, were you the kind of kid when other kids were playing baseball, you were playing with Legos?

Mr. PELTZ: I was probably sitting at home playing video games. I was a big nerd.

I got the idea, though, I stole it from a baseball player, actually, from the Cleveland players. Jamey Carroll used to do all these amazing hand drawn pictures. I go, man, I want something one of a kind like that, you know. So I started doing this.

SIMON: Now, has, for example, Mariano Rivera seen his portrait?

Mr. PELTZ: No, he has not. He's going to be part of a one of four pieces. I'm going to do a piece with Pettitte, Posada, Mariano and Jeter all on it.

SIMON: You're getting commissions to do some pieces, I hear.

Mr. PELTZ: Correct. The Dontrelle Willis was commissioned by him. And Carl Parvano and I are going back and forth on pictures and stuff. And he wants one, I think, with his son.

SIMON: So how do you do this? They send you pictures and you put together the Legos?

Mr. PELTZ: Get a picture and I kind of draw it out like a five-year-old draw it out, as big circles and just kind of seeing how the shading and what colors I'd make what. And I look back at them. And I use the computer to help after I do that, if I find a picture that would really work quite(ph) well.

SIMON: How long does it take you?

Mr. PELTZ: My pieces probably have around there are probably about 2,500 actual Legos in them. I like to say like 20 hours - even longer. I mean, it takes some time. I mean, even designing the first picture before I get started on it, it takes a couple hours at times.

SIMON: Since we know you've gotten some commissions, can you give us some idea for what the going rate for a Lego portrait of a Major League Baseball star is these days?

Mr. PELTZ: I like to start off asking for around 500. Some guys are more generous than that, as far as what they give you on top of that. Some of them (unintelligible)...

SIMON: Five hundred - those guys in the Yankees clubhouse blow their nose into $500 bills.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIMON: You know, some people would make - would put together a few more portraits of famous Indians.

Mr. PELTZ: I mean, it's my boss's clubhouse and I'm just kind of there living in his world. But what he gives me to put up two or so right now, I love it. I mean, it's awesome. You know, if he wanted the whole clubhouse done in Lego, I'd start working on it. I'd make Feller, Colavito, Satchel Paige. I can go down the line.

SIMON: Those are the three great Indians. Throw in Herb Score too, if you could, okay?

Mr. PELTZ: Will do.

SIMON: Well, Mr. Peltz, thanks so much. And good Legos to you.

Mr. PELTZ: Thank you. Appreciate it.

SIMON: Wayne Peltz, assistant clubhouse manager for the Cleveland Indians. And you can see some of his Lego artwork on our website. This is NPR News.

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