Jackie Robinson 70th anniversary auction to benefit JRF ending April 29
"Did you see Jackie Robinson hit that ball? / Did he hit it? / Yeah, and that ain't all. / He stole home. / Yes, yes, Jackie's real gone." -- Count Basie, 1949
Our journey with the legendary Dick Perez began two years ago with another Jackie Robinson painting—an unusual one depicting him as an All-American tailback for the UCLA Bruins, and which sold for over $3,500. Now Perez returns with a brand-new artwork recreating Jackie in his most familiar, most iconic diamond domain: Stealing home. And not just any theft of home, but Robinson's very first of a modern-era record 19 career times. The milestone came on June 24, 1947, against Pittsburgh's battery duo of Fritz Ostermueller (who had viciously beaned Jackie a month earlier) and Dixie Howell (one of Jackie's former teammates in Montreal and future teammates in Brooklyn).
By the 1940s, no one stole home anymore at the major-league level. Base-stealing in general was at an unprecedented low. But Number 42 ushered in a new era of speed and tenacity, paving the way (in more ways than one) for the likes of Maury Wills and Lou Brock. Dick Perez, who grew up in New York City in the 1950s, was mesmerized by Robinson's greatness and still considers Jackie one of his all-time favorite players (along with Clemente and Greenberg).
Spanning an expansive 2 feet x 3 feet, the epic scene bears every hallmark of Perez's Impressionist style, from his radiant color palette, to his thickly daubed brush strokes, to his interpretive explorations in form and composition. What's more, to achieve the perfect textural effect for the dirt around home plate, he went so far as to mix in sand and aggregate flakes to the paint itself. This is Dick Perez and Jackie Robinson at the very top of their game. And incidentally, if any avid collectors find themselves feeling a sense of deja vu here, there may be good reason. Back in 2012, Dick's homage to an equally famous slide, "Cobb Sliding," sold at auction for a record-breaking $24,000.
Large Jackie Robinson "Stealing Home" Original Painting by Dick Perez
Click above for larger image.