Renowned local artist Mike Hamblin has captured legendary figures of Butte sports with paintings of Colt Anderson, Rob Johnson and coaches of Naranche Stadium.
You can add Pat Kearney to that list.
Hamblin recently completed a painting of Kearney, the man most responsible for the Butte Sports Hall of Fame celebrating its 30th anniversary with its induction of the Class of 2017 this weekend at the Butte Civic Center.
The Kearney painting comes after Hamblin’s painting “Back 2 Back,” honoring Montana Tech’s back-to-back Frontier Conference football championships, was a star attraction at the Oredigger Auction this spring.
The Kearney painting will be unveiled during Friday’s Green Jacket Ceremony. The event begins with a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m.
The Green Jacket Ceremony is free and open to the public. The induction banquet is set for 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Kearney, the long-time chairman of the Butte Sports Hall of Fame, died of a heart attack at 59 in October of 2014.
In 2009, Kearney was voted into the Hall of Fame in the contributor category. It was an honor he accepted reluctantly because Kearney was a man known for making things about others and not himself.
“I didn’t know in 1987 where we were going with this,” Kearney said in his induction speech. “Five minutes into our first banquet I knew we’d hit a home run. I never thought, though, that I’d be one running around the bases.”
Hamblin’s painting of Kearney will eventually find a home next to the Butte Sports Hall of Fame monuments in the Butte Civic Center lobby.