Inked: Springfield, baseball and tattoos

Inked: Springfield, baseball and tattoos

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Inked: Springfield, baseball and tattoos

Sam Tuivailala, whose dad was born in the Pacific Island of Tonga, has a Polynesian piece<137> which includes banana leafs, turtle shells and arrows<137>.(Photo: Nathan Papes/News-Leader)

His right arm is all inked up. Meaningful. Sentimental. Powerful.

That’s especially true for the artwork on his forearm, where in cursive it reads "Larry" and near the wrist where inscribed is a hopeful ribbon representing cancer awareness.

Ryan Sherriff, a pitcher for the Springfield Cardinals, turned to a tattoo artist in 2012, shortly after his dad died of cancer at age 58.

"He’s the one that took me to my first Dodgers game, coached my Little League team," Sherriff said. "It just represents a lot of happy times."

Sherriff’s arm includes Japanese pieces because the style piques his interest. A pink flower is there for a friend, a turquoise flower was added as a thank-you to his mom.

"It’s crazy how the times have changed. I know people didn’t really like tattoos. But now you see everybody with them," Sherriff said, before referring to New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals pitchers.

"You’ve got C.C. Sabathia with two full sleeves. Chris Carpenter as well. He has a bunch of a tattoos. It’s really nice. I don’t think tattoos should be frowned up at all."

Sherriff doesn’t mind explaining his tattoos to strangers. After all, his can be seen easily while wearing a baseball jersey."It doesn’t make me a bad guy or anything. I got these to represent what I’ve been through in life. I can remember it just by looking at my arm," Sherriff said. "I look at other guys’ tattoos. But my ideas come from head, and I try not to copy anybody else’s." Polynesian piece Used to be, baseball wanted to be seen as clean-cut, All-American.In fact, then-Commissioner Bowie Kuhn in 1970 reportedly demanded Yankees pitcher-turned-author Jim Bouton retract his book "Ball Four," a New York Times best-seller.These days, you could almost tweak the old saying of "baseball and apple pie" to "baseball […]