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Lot # 1017: Henry Chadwick George Sosnak Folk Art Baseball

Starting Bid: $300.00

Bids: 8 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed




This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Spring Classic 2022",
which ran from 5/20/2022 7:00 PM to
6/11/2022 10:00 PM



A baseball beautifully hand-painted by George Sosnak is a unique offering that is sure to grab rapt attention in any display. Henry Chadwick is regarded as the father of baseball. This offering combines the art of George Sosnak, who adored baseball, with the depiction on the baseball of Chadwick, the foremost innovator of the early game. Sosnak was born in 1922, and he loved baseball, but he was not a talented player, and thus the artist indulged his love of the game by umpiring contests in Europe when he was stationed there in the military following the end of World War II. An article by Dave Baily in the Jan. 13, 2009, edition of Sports Collectors Digest detailed how Sosnak got his started in painting baseballs. According to the article, when Sosnak returned to the United States, he became a minor league umpire, and a female fan asked him to paint a baseball honoring her favorite minor league player. Sosnak did a beautiful job, and soon word spread of his unusual art, and demand came from all over. Players, fans, owners, and even United States Presidents wanted a Sosnak baseball. The ball is a colorful creation in a style all its own. The aforementioned Dave Baily article related that the mark of Sosnak's art is to paint using India ink. He made a basic (not artistically refined) portrait of the subject matter, used colorful symbols and provided plenty of text - in a style so small that sometimes a magnifying glass is needed to read it. In small part, the miniscule hand printing on the ball reads, "Henry Chadwick was dean of all baseball writers and did probably more than any other person to popularize the game in its early years. He helped organize [the] original National Association of Ball Players in 1868.... Inventor of the box score; author of the first rule book...." The ball even contains various statistics and baseball facts, such as "This date: June 14, 1870. The Atlantics were ready to quit when the score stood 5-5 at the end of nine innings, but Harry Wright insisted that the rules called for extra innings...." The whole effect of Sostak's artwork is that the ball came to resemble a painted Easter egg, with text. Sosnak painted other subjects, but baseball was his stock in trade, and there are an estimated 800 or even possibly more of Sosnak's works extant, but many may be hidden away. The brilliantly crafted baseball is a valued, one-of-a-kind American original.

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