The Tales Behind The Tattoos

I’m not a big tattoo guy.


I suppose I don’t mind something small and personal, but I can’t imagine covering my body like it’s graffiti on a playground wall.  I often wonder if the heavily-inked generation will still like their tattoos when they get older and the artwork is stretched out over sagging skin.


If that makes me sound old and unhip that’s OK – I’m both.


But here’s what I do like – the tales behind the tats.  In recent years I’ve talked to several Pawtucket players about their ink.  Here are a few of the more interesting stories.


Joe McEwing has a tattoo on his shoulder that says, “Can’t Do It.”  It was a motivational reminder of all the people that told him he would never be a major leaguer.


Lincoln Holdzkom is covered with tattoos including a skeleton head eating an eyeball.  He lost count of how many tattoos he had, but can tell you approximately how many hours he has spent in the tattoo parlor chair.


Trent Durrington has a tattoo that says DMD 2010.  The letters were for the last names of Durrington and two of his friends who planned to drive their motorcycles around the continent of Australia in the year 2010.  I wonder if that is in the works?


Chip Ambres has several tattoos including a cougar on his arm and a panther on his chest (he’s a fan of big cats).  He also has a tattoo of a lock while his wife has a tattoo of a key to show their bond.


David Pauley has the date of his major league debut tattooed on his arm.  It signifies that he proved the doctors wrong who said he couldn’t take part in sports after battling an illness called lorenzo trachea malacia as a kid.


Aaron Bates has his father’s initials on one arm and his mother’s maiden name on the other.


Paul McAnulty has two baseball bats crossed together with feathers coming off of the ends.  It’s a nod to his Native American heritage (his ancestors were part of the Chumash tribe).


Adam Stern has a Canadian Maple Leaf over the Olympic rings on his chest after playing for Team Canada in 2004.


Josh Reddick has several tattoos including a University of Georgia Bulldog on his shoulder.


Manny Delcarmen has a tiger tattoo on his back.


The 2010 Pawtucket roster could include a player with an abundance of tattoos in outfielder Darnell McDonald.  In fact, when I spoke to him recently, he was already anticipating his next tattoo since his wife is due to deliver their second child this week.  


“There will definitely be some new ones after the baby is born,” McDonald told me.  “For me, the tattoos are therapeutic and when it’s all said and done, you’ll be able to see my life history on my body.  Things that I’ve been through . . . the people that mean a lot to me . . . religion . . . those are the things that are the basis for my tattoos.”


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  1. worcsoxfan

    Interesting post…Do you happen to know the story behind Travis Denker’s tattoos? They looked interesting, I think he had a compass and a lot of writting on his arm.

  2. sittingstill

    Denker’s arm:

    I think that folks who put enough thought into their tattoos won’t regret them. Most of these don’t exactly sound like the products of drunken trips to tattoo parlors!

    IIRC Cla Meredith has his last name in rather large letters across his shoulders. I did wonder if that was the equivalent of a return address label…


  3. sittingstill

    Denker has a compass on his left hand as well as Psalm 23:4 on his left forearm:
    “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
    I think most of the tattoos described here had enough thought put into them that the guys will always appreciate them. To each his or her own, of course!


    I am never really a big fan of tattoos and hair extensions and the main reason why I do not like or support tattoos are because of the fact that we become very much unprofessional. After all, we look more like marked horses or bulls. Anyway, I am very much interested to see some tattoos of Chip Ambres as he has got some big cats tattoos. It would be really nice to see how he has managed to place a panther and a cougar tattoo!


    Never had the courage to ink but neither was I ever drawn to getting myself tattooed either. Studies shows that tattoos causes skin cancer because once tattooed it seems even if we want to remove it, the ink does not come off completely.

    How do Stocks work

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