Classic Art: More Great (and Rare!) Baseball Covers

Why is the title of this 1962 cover “Baseball Fight”?

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Baseball Fight – James Williamson

Baseball Fight by James Williamson
Baseball Fight
James Williamson
April 28, 1962

We’ve shown you baseball covers before, but not one as dignified and touching as this one, which depicts a baseball team standing at attention for the national anthem. Francis Scott Key would be proud. At least until he noticed that this is a fold-out cover (see below).

Baseball Fight (PART 2) – James Williamson

Baseball Fight  (PART 2) by James Williamson
Baseball Fight (PART 2)
James Williamson
April 28, 1962

Well, as the editors pointed out, Francis Scott Key did say, “Conquer we must, when our cause it is just.” However, I suspect Key wasn’t thinking of a free-for-all over a questionable call in a baseball game. Artist James Williamson did eight Post covers in the late 1950s and early ’60s. Or is that eight-and-a-half?

Watching Baseball Through a Fence – Worth Brehm

Watching Baseball Through a Fence – Worth Brehm
Watching Baseball Through a Fence
Worth Brehm
June 6, 1908

This rare 1908 cover shows another sort of baseball free-for-all. Honestly, they should put more knotholes in fences—a guy can barely squeeze in for a look-see. This was by artist Worth Brehm.

Knothole Baseball – Norman Rockwell

Knothole Baseball by Norman Rockwell
Knothole Baseball
Norman Rockwell
August 30, 1958

Fifty years later, Norman Rockwell shows us the view from the knothole. Most knotholes are nature made, but sometimes a trusty pocketknife or stone would help nature along when no one was looking. Unless some rat caretaker covered it up by nailing a piece of tin over the hole, you had a great viewing spot. Ever realistic, Rockwell’s wooden planks are so true to life, you can almost smell the wood. And ever playful, he “carved” his signature into the fence.

Boy’s Baseball Team – Eugene Iverd

Boy’s Baseball Team by Eugene Iverd
Boy’s Baseball Team
Eugene Iverd
April 17, 1926

A boy’s baseball team, 1926. We’ve shown great covers of boys by Post artist Eugene Iverd, and this one is a gem. The artist captures every boy’s character, and we see some of the same faces over and over again in covers showing boys rafting or throwing snowballs or whatever groups of lads do. (Search “Art and Literature” for Eugene Iverd for some beautiful covers of kids.)

Fly Ball – E.M. Jackson

Fly Ball by E.M. Jackson
Fly Ball
E.M. Jackson
July 28, 1923

It’s a high fly ball and it’s being caught by… Gramps! This 1923 cover is by E.M. Jackson, one of several Post artists often mistaken for Rockwell. Oh, and guys, love the straw boater hats!

Two Boys Playing Baseball – George Brehm

Two Boys Playing Baseball by George Brehm
Two Boys Playing Baseball
George Brehm
May 24, 1924

Seriously, so many baseball covers, so little time. But here’s another rare one for you from a 1924 Country Gentleman issue (CG was a sister publication of the Post‘s). These two farm boys spoiling for a game look completely natural. As an interesting aside, this issue featured “an interview with President Coolidge.” Reprints of Country Gentleman and Saturday Evening Post covers are available at curtispublishing.com. Comment on your favorite below!

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Comments

  1. Interesting selections. I know the Post had many more baseball covers, most far more well known than those shown here. It is nice to see some unusual covers.

  2. Sweetly comforting covers, depicting more morally black-and-white times; times that were, nonetheless, colorfully lived..
    Sadly, Diana, recent generations of Americans have never known, nor will ever know, such blissful days of grace
    When youth’s bloom still clung to America, she was unbelievably beautiful..

  3. I am a subscriber to and I enjoy the covers – baseball and otherwise… I am a Hoosier by birth – I was born in Indy in 1922 – The 100th ann iversary of the INDY 500 and I featured on US Postage stamps – I enjoy Jim Nabors singing ” Back Home Again in Indiana”I moved to Wisconsin – I am a retired UCC clergyman and I live in Elkhart Lake – famous for the road races at ROAD AMERICA…vej

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