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Classic Covers: Baseball, part II

Baseball is the great American pastime, and we see by these Post covers that everyone gets involved.

“100th Anniversary of Baseball” by Norman Rockwell

100th Anniversary of Baseball” – Norman Rockwell from July 8, 1939


"100th Anniversary of Baseball"
from July 8, 1939

It would appear that this cover is historically inaccurate. The Saturday Evening Post decided that since Abner Doubleday “invented” the game of baseball in 1839, who better to commemorate the event in 1939 than America’s favorite artist, Norman Rockwell? Apparently the Doubleday story has no basis in truth, and the beginnings of baseball are rather nebulous. All this aside, we have to agree that the combination of the all-American pastime and the all-American artist is a happy one.

“Baseball Catcher” by J.C. Leyendecker

 Baseball Catcher from May 15, 1909


"Baseball Catcher"
from May 15, 1909

Giving life to this cover is none other than Rockwell’s friend and mentor, artist J.C. Leyendecker. This 1909 cover is not typical of Leyendecker’s often lavish and “artsy” style.

“Baseball Catcher Looking Up” by Robert Robinson

 Baseball Catcher Looking Up from October 1, 1910


"Baseball Catcher Looking Up"
from October 1, 1910

Where did it go? We love the catcher’s mitt in this 1910 cover from Robert Robinson.

“Gramps at the Plate” by Norman Rockwell

Gramps at the Plate from August 5, 1916


"Gramps at the Plate"
from August 5, 1916

In this 1916 Rockwell cover, grandpa is taking no prisoners. We’re not sure how good a batter he is, but he’s one of the few players around in spats.

“Dad at Bat” by Alan Foster

Dad at Bat from June 1, 1929


"Dad at Bat"
from June 1, 1929

Dad gets into the act in this 1929 cover by artist Alan Foster. A littler overdressed, but good stance, pops.

“Island Game” by Stevan Dohanos

 Island Game from April 21, 1945


"Island Game"
from April 21, 1945

The U.S. Marine Corps did not let a world war get in the way of a good game. Okay, a contentious game. In the background to the left is Lt. Howard Munce who told artist Stevan Dohanos about this game when he was stationed in the South Pacific. Lt. Munce was an artist as well, and later fought at Iwo Jima. Notice the Corsair in the background getting patched up. We don’t know if the final call favored the Marine Air Corps or the South Pacific League.

See other great covers, including John Falter’s painting of the great Stan Musial in “Great Post Baseball Covers.”

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  • MARIE KEMNOW

    I have 5 plates and i am wondering about what its worth. One is…Sports Impressions Inc.,”100th,year of Baseball’ Saturday Evening,post over,date, july 8 its 4 1/4 inches

  • Bob McGowan

    Sorry about my two typos. I really DO know how to spell! I hit the button too fast–a classic mistake. Good grief.

  • Bob McGowan

    Another great selection of covers this week with interesting stories to with them.

    “100th Anniversary” is a real classic, and you’re right. Combining the All-American pastime with Rockwell can only make for a happy outcome, right?

    ‘Baseball Catcher’. Great cover and a little un-Leyendecker like I suppose compared to the elaborate and sculputured covers more associated with his work overall. It was a baseball catcher. That’s it.

    ‘Looking Up’. Great 1910 cover. I’d never heard of Robert Robinson and would like to see more of it. That catcher’s mitt IS great!

    ‘Gramps’. Another wonderful Rockwell. I think Grandpa might very well hit that ball out of the park or out of sight entirely. He looks pretty serious (to me).

    ‘Dad at Bat’. Never heard of Alan Foster before but love his work too. This one also has the clasic ‘circle’ a lot of the covers had in the ’20s.

    Love ‘Island Game’ and Dohanos IS a favorite whose work I AM familiar with. I have a feeling this attempt at playin’ baseball didn’t work out too well, unfortunately.