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1988 Mighty Casey - Bronze Statue by Mark Lundeen
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $2,160
Bronze statue, titled Mighty Casey, created by noted sculpture Mark Lundeen. Signed by the artist along the base, next to which is the copyright date "1988." This ten-inch bronze was one of a limited edition produced by Lundeen in 1988 (the limitation number was 1,000 but fewer than 500 were actually produced) and represents the smallest rendering of his most famous work. The original issue price was $450, which was raised over time to $950. Lundeen has also produced 200 bronze statues of Mighty Casey that measure twenty-two inches in height, as well as fifteen life-size versions (seven-feet tall) and a smaller number of "Monumental" versions (fourteen-feet tall), one of which is displayed at the Little League headquarters in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. In 2010, REA sold a life-size bronze of the Mighty Casey that was on display for many years at the National Baseball Hall of Fame (Lot 1314; May 2010; realized $35,250). Fortunately, for collectors, the offered bronze is both more affordable and easier to display. Casey, of course, is one of the most iconic folk heroes in American history, and few people today are unfamiliar with the poem Casey at the Bat, or its famous final line: "There is no joy in Mudville /mighty Casey has struck out." In this classic rendition, Lundeen captures the ever-confidant Casey as he casually leans on his bat while watching the first two strikes go by. In looking at this piece, one can almost hear the lines that occasioned it:
And now the leather-covered sphere came hurtling through the air,
And Casey stood a-watching it in haughty grandeur there.
Close by the sturdy batsman the ball unheeded sped -
"That ain't my style," said Casey. "Strike one," the umpire said.
Mark Lundeen, whose studio is located in Loveland, Colorado, is a world-renowned sculptor whose works reflect a high degree of realism. Included among his many awards are the Philip Isenberg Award from the Allied Artists of America in New York City for his sculpture Ragtime Cowboy Joe and Best Sculpture in a Public Place by Westword Magazine of Denver, Colorado, for Mighty Casey. Today, his works can be found at many important venues, including the National Statuary Hall of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.; Little League Headquarters in Williamsport, Pennsylvania; Amarillo International Airport and the Amarillo Civic Center in Amarillo, Texas; Arlington Ballpark, in Arlington, Texas; Pro Player Stadium in Miami, Florida; the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York; Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado; and in various universities, colleges, and libraries across the nation. The bronze statue remains in Near Mint condition. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,160
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