One year ago today, MLB All Star 2nd base starter Martin Prado watched the same midsummer classic with one of the worlds best tattoo artists, Brandon Bond, who predicted the overwhelming success that would follow their July 2009 session.
"He thought I was crazy," Bond states, "but I told him, your'e going, pack your bags for LA 2010." Prado was extremely successful in his utility role which saw few starts in the 2009 season. He arranged the appointment with Brandon through relief pitcher Peter Moylan, also of the Braves. When asked about the artwork itself Brandon replies, "He wanted something to glorify his father and grandfather, both of which is where he derives his name from, and the only time we had to do it was during the All Star break last year." Upon the completion of the tattoo both artist and second baseman shared a drink and toasted to next years (2010) All Star Game. "I believe I said, to you making it to the LA All Star game, and we downed a celebratory drink, but after I mentioned it, Prado got very serious and emotional and said, "that would be amazing... I wish." Well, his wish came true.
Prado even offered to fly out Brandon and his wife to the 2010 All Star game if the psychic tattoo prediction came true. Many of Brandon's other baseball clients have seen a huge surge in their numbers. Jeremy Hermida of the Boston Red Sox has had an amazing year, but suffered an injury and is currently on the DL. Peter Moylan led the entire game of baseball for most of last year in appearances and was almost unstoppable toward the end of the 2009 season. Ross Gload of the Philadelphia Phillies, has hit game winning "all or nothing" pinch hit homeruns multiple times this year. Brandon's tattoos are making the rounds, and apparently magic for those who seek them.
"I insisted on the fact that it would happen for him, and he (Prado) almost dismissed it as being impossible. I told him this would happen, because it was obvious to all those who know him or have even watched how he plays ball. He is a man on fire for 9 innings no matter what the score is, a very 'all or nothing' approach to baseball. Brandon should know because his studio name is ironically "All or Nothing Tattoo" located in Smyrna, GA a suburb of Atlanta.
Bond continues, "Out of all the baseball guys I have tattooed, he has a focus and an excitement about baseball I have never seen. He lives for baseball, and plays in Venezuela in the American offseason, so he plays all year. Most of the baseball guys don't want to watch baseball on TV while I work on them, I guess kinda like I don't ever wanna watch LA Ink. But Prado is different, and everyone around him will tell you the same. He was focused on every pitch, every foul ball of last years all star game even while under the needle."
This is Prado's first full year in the starting role, and he has often been credited by the Braves players as one of the key reasons they are in first place. He will be hitting in the #2 position in the lineup directly in front of "King Albert" Pujols. "There was never a doubt in my mind he would make it, plus he had the tattoo community voting for him!"
Bond, who is one of the most famous and award winning tattoo artists in the world, is no stranger to celebrity clients. In 2009 he began tattooing multiple baseball players, accommodating their grueling schedules by compromising his own.
"I bought season tickets to the Braves because I needed some time off and my wife and I love baseball. It backfired and I ended up with a lot more clients and a lot more work. But baseball guys are awesome. Boxers, rappers, basketball players, actors, share a crazy ego, I noticed none of these (baseball) guys so far do." Brandon is currently tattooing players on 11 MLB teams, varied geographically from Boston to Miami to California and of course Atlanta.
Tonight's mid summer classic will be an extra special one at the Bond home, stating that even his mother is excited. "When I mentioned to my mom that he brings his mom for the season from Venezuela, she absolutely fell in love with him. He is every bodies favorite." With the media swirl following the homerun debut of Braves rookie sensation Jason Heyward (also an All Star this year) Prado's blessed explosion has been somewhat unnoticed by much of the media. "That will change after tonight," Bond states, "I told him this would happen and it's awesome."
When asked for any other psychic tattoo predictions Bond replies, "Braves win the World Series for Cox and Wagner's last year, and Prado will be the MVP." If the first half he season is any indication of what is to come, his next prediction will be on point yet again.