For those of you who have been in the hobby for awhile, you know who he is. Dick Perez is one of the more heralded and famous Baseball artist in the hobby. He was the official team artist for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1972. Then, in 1979 he teamed up with Frank & Peggy Steele to produce the popular Perez-Steele Galleries postcards that have been a staple for Hall of Fame autograph collectors for decades. What he is likely more famous for is his portrait artwork created for Donruss trading cards. Starting in 1982 he painted a portrait for one player of every team that would be created into a subset called "Diamond Kings".
Currently at Legendary Auctions there are 26 original paintings of his available for sale, and it includes a couple of Dodgers. They both were created recently for his "The Immortals Collection" book that features portraits of some of the greatest ballplayers to ever take the field.
Take a look at his Sandy Koufax painting below. From the auction description:
Dick Perez on "Sandy Koufax - June 4, 1964": In a short 12-year career cut short by an arthritic elbow, Sandy Koufax dominated the hitters he faced the last 6 of those 12 years. He won a record 5 straight ERA titles, 4 strikeout crowns, 3 seasons winning 25 games or more, 3 Cy Young Awards, an MVP Award, a World Series MVP, and four no-hitters, one of which is the subject of this painting. It was his third, and it was pitched against the Phillies in Philadelphia's Shibe Park on June 4, 1964. It was a near perfect game; he faced the required 27 batters. Only a walk to Richie Allen who was caught stealing prevented it. He managed the elusive perfect game with his fourth no-hitter the following year. He was the youngest player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Here is Pee Wee Reese. From the auction description:
Dick Perez on "Pee Wee Reese - The Quiet Force": Pee Wee Reese was probably the largest karat in a golden age of shortstops. He made more putouts, more assists, stole more bases, and scored more runs than any of the other shortstops of his era. He was durable, and was a ten-time All-Star. His leadership earned him the nickname "The Little Colonel." As the Dodgers team captain Reese (a southerner) was the first to welcome and befriend Jackie Robinson, helping to ease Robinson's entry into the world of white baseball. Captain Reese was the force that inspired and held the Dodgers together during the years that changed baseball forever.
This next item made me smile. Back in the day, when movies were produced with real film and computers were not a household item, directors had to use cardboard people to fill the stands. It would have been far too expensive to hire hundreds, if not thousands of extras to just sit there, so they made fake people.
Featured below are 16 die-cut fake folks on very heavy cardboard/wood stock that were used in the filming of the Baseball classic, "The Natural".
I can imagine setting these up in my living room in anticipation of that evenings game. I'd put a couple of them on my Dodger Stadium seats, and the rest are strategically positioned around me to make me feel not so alone. The sounds of a boisterous crowd can be replayed on my voice recorder, as I bang on my electric keyboard with the music of "Charge".
Man-O-Live... Do I miss Baseball.
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