Original watercolor on 100% cotton fiber watercolor paper (11.25 x 15.25 inches) of nineteenth-century Hall of Fame catcher Deacon White by noted baseball artist Dick Perez. Signed by the artist in the lower left corner. Mint condition. Most collectors will immediately recognize that this piece is identical in style to Perez's famous Perez-Steele Hall of Fame postcards, which were produced from 1980 to 2001. This is a recent work by Perez and one that he plans to feature in a separate, updated edition of his now classic 2010 book titled The Immortals: An Art Collection of Baseball's Best. (The updated edition, which does not yet have a publication date, will showcase all of the Hall of Fame inductees from 2011 to 2020.) Deacon White was one of the game's top players during the early years of professional baseball. Considered the finest bare-handed catcher of his day, he began his career as a member of Cleveland's entry in the National Association in 1871. In 1873 he joined Harry Wright's Boston Red Stockings, where he was known as one of baseball's "Big Four" along with Al Spalding, Ross Barnes, and Cal McVey. White led Boston to three consecutive pennants before joining Chicago in the newly formed National League. He later played with Cincinnati, Buffalo, Detroit, and Pittsburgh of the National League, and Buffalo (of which he was part owner) of the Players League. It was during his tenure with Buffalo (which later became Detroit) that White teamed with Dan Brouthers, Hardy Richardson, and Jack Rowe, to make up baseball's second "Big Four." White led the American Association in batting with a .366 average in 1875. Two years later, in 1877, his .387 mark was tops in the National League. He also led the National League in RBI in both 1876 (60) and 1877 (49). White retired after the 1890 season with a .303 lifetime average.
Dick Perez is widely recognized as one of the finest sports artist of our time and is the only artist to have ever been named The Official Artist of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Best known by collectors today for his work in the highly popular Perez-Steele Hall of Fame postcard series and Donruss “Diamond Kings” artwork cards, his association in recent years with Topps has now made him a household name to an entirely new generation of young collectors. Dick Perez is the rare artist that has achieved a legendary status in his own time. Over the years, Robert Edward Auctions has had the privilege of handling nearly all of Dick Perez’s personal collection of original artworks, and we are honored that once again we have been chosen to auction his most recent masterpieces. Reserve $200. Estimate (open).