CLEVELAND - When Wayne Peltz, his wife by his side, told to his mother that he was going to build a face of baseball player Jim Thome out of the many multi-colored Legos that he had around the house, both women looked at him with a bit of skepticism.
"They rolled their eyes a little bit, weren't very encouraging, but you know I think maybe it was an ambitious thing thing to start with maybe, but I'm lucky it worked out," said Peltz.
Peltz said he got the idea from hanging out around the other guys at his place of work. Not just any workplace environment, mind you. Peltz's job, for the past 11 seasons, as the assistant visiting team clubhouse manager for every major league baseball team playing the Indians at Progressive Field often gets him close-up with baseball's biggest stars.
One of those stars was Jamey Carroll, an artist in his own right.
"I kind of stole the idea from an Indians player, Jamey Carroll. He used to do hand drawings, index card size, and big-time players, Jeter, Pujols, whoever it may be, would drop whatever they were doing and were like, 'I can't wait to sign something that,' that was drawn. I go to myself, gosh I hope someone like that could sign a baseball for me to add to my collection. I told myself maybe if you would get off your butt and do something other than a baseball maybe the guy would respect that and do the same for you as he did for Jamey," said Peltz.
After what amounted to a losing season with his drawing pad, Peltz's first attempt at Thome's face immortalized the former Indians player in framed, small plastic bricks.
It also solidified respect from just about every professional ball player in his beloved visitor's clubhouse. One signed by each player Lego panel hanging above an office clubhouse door of famous New York Yankees put a smile on Peltz's face as he recounted the day a few of them entered the laundry room as Peltz folded clean towels.
"Up here I had done the core four of years past. It's got Derek, it's got Jorge, Mariano Rivera, and Andy Pettitte. I did this probably at the beginning of my Lego® building, probably about four years ago. The Yankees offered some money for it and had to turn them down because I thought it was too cool; something I had to keep for myself.
"When Mariano was talking to me about it Derek and Jorge walked in together and he said, 'You guys have to come in here and check this out.' So they came in and all were talking about it and they were looking at me and said, 'Wow, you did this? And I go, yeah. And they go this is incredible, I love it! So, they couldn't wait to sign it," said Peltz. "It was the whole idea that I was going for to begin with."
Peltz hasn't limited himself to baseball player's images. He has churned out dozens of fine art projects in plastic masonry. His fans are everywhere.
But, Peltz doesn't plan on leaving his job anytime soon.
"I love my job. I'm not going anywhere," added Peltz.
One of Peltz's favorite works is that of famous St. Louis Cardinal outfielder and first baseman, Stan Musial. That image Peltz did sell. The owner of the portrait getting Stan-the-Man to sign it shortly before his death in January, 2013.
On loan, Peltz's Musial artwork is now on display at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in Kentucky.
To view Wayne Peltz's work CLICK HERE . You can also visit his Twitter page: @OneBy1Mosaics. Or email, email@example.com.