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George Sosnak "Luke Appling" Hand-Painted Ball
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $3,900
Elaborate folk-art tribute ball, hand-painted by former minor-league umpire George Sosnak (1922-1992), commemorating the baseball career of Hall of Fame shortstop Luke Appling. Illustrations of Appling adorn two of the side panels, while much of the remaining surface area features Sosnak's meticulous hand-painted lettering. When creating a ball dedicated to a specific individual, Sosnak customarily began with a ball autographed by that person. He then incorporated the autograph within his design, often enhancing it with his favorite medium: India Ink. This ball is no exception, with the enhanced signature of Luke Appling worked into an illustration of Appling at the plate. The other illustration recreates Appling's Hall of Fame plaque. The text provides copious biographical information pertaining to Appling's career, including a year-by-year listing of his batting statistics. Although Sosnak was a prolific artist, by some accounts creating over 800 illustrated baseballs, the popularity of his works has continued to grow with each passing decade. Those commemorating the careers of Hall of Fame players, such as this example, have always been particularly highly prized by collectors. Sosnak is nearly as well known in the folk-art community as he is in the field of baseball collectibles, so it is no surprise that examples of his work can be found in both the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, and the American Folk Art Museum in New York City. One of Sosnak's balls (detailing JFK’s Opening Day pitch at a 1962 Senators game) can even be found in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. In Near Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. SOLD FOR $3,900
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