$20,000,000+ OR $425?

If you can’t raise the $20 million-plus to bid on the original of Norman Rockwell’s “The Rookie,” you might want to spend $425 on a unique plaque commemorating the 100th anniversary of the opening of Fenway Park.

Christie’s Auction House, the prestigious dealer in New   York City has announced that the original portrait of Rockwell’s icon cover picture will be auctioned on May 22, 2014.  A spokesman for Christie’s estimates that Rockwell’s work may ultimately bring a bid of $30 million, or perhaps even more.

My octogenarian friend sculptor and artist Alan Raynor isn’t trying to become a millionaire through the sale of this unique FenwayPark plaque.  Raynor bought the composing room of The Bridgeport Post in 1958, recognizing the beauty of the old printing dies.  His first plaque many years ago captured the career of the immortal Lou Gehrig.

The size of the plaque Is 22” x “27.  Raynor says the materials for the plaque create an appearance that is “stunning.”

Please contact Alan, who is also a formidable competitor in the long-jump in the Senior Games, at alraynor333@gmail.com.  He will be pleased to answer your questions and email you a picture of his plaque.

Our old friend, former Red Sox pitcher Frank Sullivan is prominently featured in The Rookie, along with teammates Sammy White and Jackie Jensen.  Frank still remembers that remarkable day nearly 60 years ago.

On an off-day in 1956, Sullivan, Sam White, and Jackie Jensen were told to drive to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and to bring their uniforms.  “When we got there we were greeted warmly by a small, slim man, whose name meant nothing to me.  He posed us and took a number of pictures, explaining that the background would be the locker room we used in Sarasota, Florida, for spring training.  I remember ragging on Jackie Jensen on the way back, saying the trip was all his idea, and the photographer didn’t seem to know what he was doing.

“The following March, I pick up The Saturday Evening Post, and there we were on the cover.  The man was an illustrator, not a photographer, and if you look closely, you’ll see we are wearing street shoes, not spikes.  The cover was titled ‘The Rookie’ and the man’s name turned out to be Norman Rockwell.”

There is one final footnote.  Including Ted Williams in the picture was critical for the cover, but Teddy Ballgame had no interest in driving to Stockbridge on his off-day.   Rockwell used Sullivan’s body and added Williams’ head using a photograph.

Insert your own punch-line, but please keep it in good taste!

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/04/01/rockwell-painting-red-sox-may-fetch-30-million-at-auction/

 

 

 

 

 

Article written by

Herb Crehan is in his 21st season as a contributing writer for Red Sox Magazine, the team's official program. He is the author of two books on Red Sox history and he has contributed to five other books. He speaks frequently on Boston baseball history and he is the Editor of www.bostonbaseballhistory.com.

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