Beautiful Bill Mazeroski Hand Painted George Sosnak Folk Art Signed Baseball
Elaborate folk-art tribute ball, hand-painted by former minor-league umpire George Sosnak (1922-1992), dedicated to Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski. An illustration of Mazeroski in a batting pose is pictured on one side panel, along with printed highlights of his career. The opposite side panel is dedicated to the Pittsburgh Pirates and features the club's logo and the year, "1965." Mazeroski has signed one of the two unpainted side panels in blue ink. Also signed by Sosnak below the Mazeroski image. When creating a ball dedicated to a specific individual, Sosnak customarily began with a ball autographed by that person. He then incorporated the autograph within his design, often enhancing it with his favorite medium: India Ink. This ball is one of those rare exceptions in that the vintage blue-ink signature of Mazeroski appears on a side panel, but Sosnak has NOT enhanced it in any way. Sosnak apparently created this ball for the Pirates to be used as a gift to a restaurant, as noted by the painted text on the sweet spot that reads "To Majestic Steak House/Best Wishes From/Pittsburgh Pirates/National League/1965." Sosnak was a prolific artist, by some accounts creating over 800 illustrated baseballs and, the popularity of his works has continued to grow with each passing decade. Sosnak is nearly as well known in the folk-art community as he is in the field of baseball collectibles, so it is no surprise that examples of his work can be found in both the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, and the American Folk Art Museum in New York City. One of Sosnak's balls (detailing JFK's Opening Day pitch at a 1962 Senators game) can even be found in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.
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