As a lad I remember sitting in the car with my folks and making note of every Union 76 station. When one came into view I'd yelp out, "do we need gas? Let's get some gas." I'm sure I got to be quite annoying, but a young Dodger fan has got to do what he's got to do. After all, I needed that new Dodger giveaway to add to my growing collection.
As you know, the 80's (the principal time of my youth) was filled with Dodger memorabilia from that gas station. They offered a series of pins during the later half of the decade and a highly attractive player portrait set created by noted artist Nicholas Volpe. (You can see scans of my complete 1982 Volpe Dodgers Portrait set here.)
As I got older I found out that Volpe created similar sets for the Dodgers in the 60's, so I naturally sought them out too. One of those portraits, from 1969, is the subject of this post. Featured above is an original drawing by Nicholas Volpe of former Dodger pitcher Claude Osteen from the 1969 set, and it is currently available for sale on eBay. (eBay Auction Link)
The drawing measures 10"x13" (slightly larger than the portraits given away by Union 76) and comes directly from the personal collection of Claude Osteen. Strikingly, this years set includes a splash of purplish pastel hues in the background -- the kind of flare missing from his drawing produced in the 80's. I have no idea if the $550 asking price is reasonable, but I do know that original drawings by Volpe from these sets do not come around very often.
Below are scans of the Osteen portrait given out in 1969 by Union 76. You can go here to see scans of the entire set.
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