I’m no connoisseur on Romanticism or the progression of art over time, but I took a Survey of Art History class in college one semester, so I dabble.
As I was perusing some mid-19th century works, one in particular caught my eye: Emanuel Leutze’s 1851 painting Washington Crossing the Delaware.
It’s a beautiful oil-on-canvas piece, but it wasn’t until I dug a little deeper than the brushstroke that my interest was truly piqued.
Many great works were painted over several times before the artist decided on a finished product. Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware is apparently no different — and the original rendering may shock you:
It was with Socratesian foresight that Leutze created the image of another famous Washington, a courageous leader in the midst of battle.
Like the Washington 220 years Ron’s elder led a group of men across the treacherous, frozen Delaware River to launch a surprise attack on the Hessian soldiers after several months of losses in battle during the American Revolution, Rangers manager Ron Washington leads his troops – burdened by casualties – into battle for the American League.
George lost New York City and other battles of strategic importance in 1776. Ron has lost his main weapon on the mound, his second baseman, his catcher, and nearly an army of other important men in 2014.
And just as General Washington’s troops surprised an unsuspecting army of German troops, surrounding the city and claiming victory at Trenton, New Jersey, so too must the Rangers’ General lead his men — perceived to be weakened by their losses — into an unsuspecting League of opponents.
Claiming Trenton didn’t win the American Revolution. But it galvanized confidence in the American colonists. It was a battle that paved the way for a victory in the war.
The 2014 Rangers, as was forboded nearly two centuries ago in Leutze’s aforementioned painting, need Ron Washington to be that same fearless leader. They need him to incite that same confidence in a team burdened by injuries and a fan base whose confidence is wavering. Surviving the first couple months of this season, before reinforcements arrive, won’t win a World Series.
It’s merely a battle.
But it just might give the team – nay, the organization – the poise to win the war.
For George, it was a tough winter. For Ron, it has been a tough spring. Injuries have put the Rangers’ backs against the wall. But with Opening Day on Monday, a modern-day Trenton is here. And it’s time to go to battle.
The Rangers need you, Ron. The fanbase needs you to be their Patriot. This is your chance to have your name etched in American lore. [aside: well, maybe just "Rangers lore"… but I feel like I had some decent rhetoric going there]
It’s time for a new Washington to cross the metaphorical Delaware. And maybe one day Ron’s glorious visage will grace American currency.