Original oil on canvas (panel) painting of Joe Jackson by noted sports artist Ron Stark. Signed by the artist in the lower right corner. Jackson is depicted in uniform as a member of the Cleveland Indians as he gazes pensively at the viewer. A shadowy portion of the stadium grandstand to the right, and the American flag waving proudly beyond the fence in center field beautifully compliments the evocative image. Jackson was a member of the Indians from 1910 to 1915, during which time he never hit below .327 for the club, including .408 in 1911, which is still the highest batting average ever recorded by a rookie player. Despite his ability on the field (his lifetime average of .356 is third all time behind only Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby), his tragic fall from grace in 1919 as a member of the infamous Chicago "Black Sox" resulted in a lifetime banishment from baseball in 1921. Jackson's guilt or innocence in the 1919 World Series scandal has long been debated by historians, but in the court of public opinion he has been fully cleared of all charges and remains one of the game's most iconic figures.
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 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, especially those depicting legendary figures. This is one of the finest Stark paintings we have ever seen, both with regard to subject matter and technical composition, and easily the finest Joe Jackson original artwork we have ever offered. The painting (23.5 x 23 inches) is in Mint condition and has been framed to total dimensions of 26 x 26 inches. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open).
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