Plate Signed Serigraph
Image size 26" x 17 1/4"
One of the most thrilling moments in sports: the batter connects, a crack echoes through the stadium, and the ball goes sailing. Will it be a home run? Is it a line drive over second base? In the brief instant before this is known, the world seems alive with potential and possibility. LeRoy Neiman's prints have caught the action at crucial moments in football, golf, basketball, boxing, racing and all the great sports. Only an artist who is also a devoted fan and student of sports could select those special moments. Here he turns his attention to the national pastime, capturing its most intriguing moment and the men who create it.
Baseball may be a team sport, but teams must rely on the individual strengths and skills of their players to grab fly balls, turn double plays, get on base and drive in runs. It has been said that getting a hit off a major league pitcher is among the most difficult feats in all sports. The bat is thin, the ball is small, it travels just 90 feet, and it comes in at speeds upwards of 90 miles per hour. As if that were not enough, the pitchers serve up a mix of fast balls, knuckle balls, sliders, curves and sinkers. No wonder the most admired players in baseball are the hitters. Not only the home run hitters create excitement, but those with the highest batting averages, who connect safely time after time and advance the men around the bases. The giants in this field are household names: Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Joe DiMaggio, to name a few. All of them are members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
LeRoy Neiman gives us an homage to these workhorses of the diamond. Suitably for a portrayal of America's game, the print is dominated by red, white and blue. His image deftly displays the focus, strength, grace and championship form of a hall of famer hitter. But the moment if pregnant, too. the catcher starts to rise, following the arc of the ball and anticipating more action. There must already be men on the base, and the hit must look solid. In the background, the on deck batter watched intently, waiting for his chance at plate.