The sculptor who is thought to have created the very first NFL figure with his pot-bellied Joe Jolter that came into being more than 50 years ago, is very much alive and well and living in Lutherville, Md.Now he is embarking on new series of figurines. They are the "Joe Jolter" World Series Limited Edition statues and some noted teams are being featured in this initial offering; including the 1923 Yankees, 1960 Orioles and 2008 Phillies. Here is the 1955 Brooklyn Dodger (the 55 uniform number refers to the team year) as the “JunkBall” Jolter.
His colorful Joe Jolter statues were launched in 1956, then he came up with his 3-point lineman (“Bruce Bruiser”) football figure, and then a first-ever baseball figure in 1957. Part of the lore that surrounds the affable Kail is the notion that the figure was inspired by the equally legendary NFL Hall of Famer Art Donovan; the baseball figure is occasionally attributed to 1950s National League slugger Ted Kluszewski.
Only the first statue of 25 that will be produced is available right now on eBay. It's already at over $300.
This is a “First”... new release ever made available. It’s a 6” solid, personally sculpted, hand-painted, and signed by Fred Kail in a numbered limited edition series of World Series Champions Edition.... The figure depicts Kail’s whimsical “ Joe Jolter” characterization as his football figures. The artist claims that “Ol’ JunkBall” will no doubt lead the league in walks, that is, if he ever gets his curve ball straightened out and over the plate. Forget his knuckleball as it unfortunately has a “mind of its own.”