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George Sosnak "Jackie Robinson" Hand-Painted Ball
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $5,333
Elaborate folk-art tribute ball, hand-painted by former minor-league umpire George Sosnak (1922-1992), commemorating the baseball career of Jackie Robinson. Illustrations of Robinson 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 Jackie Robinson worked into an illustration of Robinson as he walks into the Brooklyn Dodgers clubhouse for the first time. The other illustration recreates Robinson's Hall of Fame plaque. The text provides copious biographical information pertaining to Robinson's historic career. 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 historic events, 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. Enough room has been left on this ball to discern that it is a Rawlings official Florida State League ball. A few tiny abrasions are evident. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $5,333
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