Behind the Ink – Exploring Baseball Star Michael Kopech’s Tattoos

Like many Major League Baseball stars, Michael Kopech of the White Sox is a tattoo fan. Ink covers a large part of his left forearm.

His first tattoo was a number 34, on his left wrist.

Kopech says that wearing artwork on your skin can be a great way to express your personality.

Kopech’s tattoos became more personal over time. He says he doesn’t like to expose his tattoos, so he wears long sleeve shirts to cover them. I often wear long sleeves to hide my tattoos during games. They also have some history about my spiritual and human growth.

The stories behind the body art

Most of his tattoos have a spiritual theme. The three cherubs are similar to religious art, such as the Sistine Chapel ceiling, which features religious artwork. Each cherub is supposed to represent one of his three children.

Three cherubs appear to be floating across Michael Kopech's left arm — one for each of his three kids.
Three cherubs appear floating across Michael Kopech’s left arm — one for each of his three kids. Katie Anthony

The angels’ bodies are covered with the words “FAMILY,” “ROOTS,” and other messages.

Sox pitcher Michael Kopech in a game last month against the Miami Marlins at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Michael Kopech, a Sox pitcher, in a match last month at Guaranteed Rate field against the Miami Marlins. He took his first tattoo from his uniform number — 34. Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Many Sox players wear tattoos that represent their roots. In a 2022 video, third baseman Yoán Moncada showed off a giant angel on his shoulder representing his mother and script, in Spanish, on the family.

José Rodriguez, 22, who made his debut with the Sox earlier this season before being sent back to the minors, has a tattoo of an anchor with the initials of each of his family members. He claims that it’s to remind him of his Dominican Republic home.

José Rodriguez, who played for the White Sox before heading back to the minors this summer, has a tattoo to represent his family as well as others representing his baseball career.
José Rodriguez, who played for the White Sox before heading back to the minors this summer, has a tattoo to represent his family and others representing his baseball career. Katie Anthony / Sun-Times

Kopech’s tattooing style is described as “eclectic.”

He says, “I’m not trying to make them look cool.” “I just love what I have.”

His tattoo is a picture of a tree he saw through a cracked window. It was a common scene for him as a child in Texas. A tree was always outside his bedroom window. He also remembers a song by Whiskey Myers called “Broken Window Serenade.”

Kopech says, “As the group grew and became more popular, I went through baseball with them. And got more established within the league.” “I felt like I was growing up with this music, and it hit home more,” Kopech says.

Roots and trees are common images in Michael Kopech's tattoos, representing his family and reminding him of his home in Texas.
Michael Kopech’s tattoos often feature roots and trees. These images represent his family and also his Texas hometown. Katie Anthony / Sun-Times

Kopech is on the injured list due to inflammation in his right shoulder. He says that getting a tattoo helps him relax. He’s fallen asleep even while getting tattoos.

Kopech says, “I feel the needle easing up a bit.” Many times, you have to deal with the pain of surgery. It’s almost like therapy.”

He intends to get ink on another part of his body, possibly one of his legs. He hasn’t inked his pitching elbow.

Kopech: “I’m paranoid about the right arm.”

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