LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Nobody has added more color to the Braves’ clubhouse than utility man Eric Hinske. How about a $5,000 tattoo that took two entire offseasons to complete?
The tattoo on Hinske’s back, pictured left, was just completed this winter.
“It’s just traditional Japanese styling tattoo,” he said. “I got a tattoo of a cross on my left arm when my grandfather died and I liked it so then I got one of a dragon on my other arm. I just liked the way it looked. Then I got addicted to it and I couldn’t stop. I had my arms and chest plates done so I just wanted to tie it all together so it looked like 0ne big piece. So I just got this big Japanese warrior and this snake wrapped around with the snake’s mouth open, with wind and clouds and stuff. It’s pretty cool.”
Hinske, who was signed as a free agent from the New York Yankees, said there is no special significance to the design. The outline and shading for the tattoo was done last winter. All of the coloring was done this winter, in nine or 10 settings covering 30 hours Altogether, it was 18 to 20 sittings covering 45 hours and totaling $5,000, paid to the order of the appropriately named, “Living Canvas” in Tempe, Ariz.
When asked if getting all of those tattoos hurt, Hinske said, “It’s hard to explain. It’s annoying. It’s like you’re getting stung by a bee for three or four hours.
“It was fun. But it was a lot of work. I finished all the color this offseason and by the end I was ready to stop. A lot of pain.”
Did his wife, Kathryn, object?
“I would call my wife an enabler,” he said. “She likes the way I look. She said, ‘Do whatever you want, it’s your body.’”