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George Sosnak "Miller Huggins" Hand-Painted Ball
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $1,680
Elaborate folk-art tribute ball, hand-painted by former minor-league umpire George Sosnak (1922-1992), commemorating the baseball career of Hall of Fame manager Miller Huggins. Illustrations of Huggins adorn two of the side panels, while much of the remaining surface area features Sosnak's meticulous hand-painted lettering. One illustration features a bust-length image of Huggins against the backdrop of a baseball diamond, while the other recreates his Hall of Fame plaque. A third panel provides a year-by-year listing of his batting statistics. The text provides copious biographical information pertaining to both his playing and managerial careers. 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 and/or managers, 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. Interestingly, Sosnak dedicated this ball to a family member, inscribing a portion of the sweet spot "In memory of/Winnie Sosnak/with love/always/Geo. H. Sosnak/by Geo. N./1973." Minor surface wear affects a few of the panels, some of which obscures brief portions of the text. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. SOLD FOR $1,680
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