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Lot # 1482 (1482 of 1911)   « Previous Lot | Next Lot »

Babe Ruth and Kenesaw Landis Original Oil Painting by Ron Stark

Starting Bid - $1,500, Sold For - $12,000

Original oil on canvas (panel) painting of Babe Ruth and Kenesaw Mountain Landis by noted sports artist Ron Stark. Signed by the artist in the lower right corner. The evocative artwork pictures Ruth in uniform as a member of the Yankees as he converses with Landis, who is sitting in the first row of the grandstand. While this might at first glance seem to be an odd pairing for a painting, it's really not when one considers that these two men literally saved the game of baseball. Major league baseball entered the 1920s on the heels of the greatest scandal in the sport's history. Fans questioned the integrity of the game and needed a reason to be brought back to the ballpark. Ruth gave them that reason. With the power of the home run, in distances and numbers never seen before, Ruth compelled them to return. He appeared on the scene when baseball needed him most, as did Landis. With the owners powerless to police themselves, they turned to a man who would be beholden to no one. Landis was that man. Taking the job of Baseball Commissioner on the one condition that he wield supreme power, he single-handedly cleaned up baseball, suspending for life all those whose actions ran counter to his strict moral code.

Ron Stark, the son of well-known cartoonist and caricaturist Bruce Stark, has been one of the leading figures in the world of sports art since the early 1990s and his works are known for their extraordinary photorealistic effects. In addition to having created numerous cover and interior illustration pieces for a number of leading sports publications, including the Sports Collectors Digest, Beckett Baseball Card Monthly, and Golf Digest, Stark was also commissioned to create a piece for Ted Williams' personal collection, which Williams later donated to the Ted Williams Museum. Stark's work can also be found on the Gallery Edition baseball, football, and basketball cards produced by Topps. Original Ron Stark oil paintings are extremely desirable in the sports-art field, and this is one of the finest we have ever seen (which is saying something, given his tremendous talents), both with regard to subject matter and technical composition. The painting (20 x 26 inches) is in Mint condition and has been framed to total dimensions of 24 x 30 inches. Reserve $1,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $12,000

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