Original oil on canvas (panel) painting of Babe Ruth by noted sports artist Ron Stark. Signed by the artist in the lower-right corner. Ruth is captured in a pensive moment on field as he waits on deck with bat in hand. Ruth has always been a popular subject for Stark and few artists have managed to capture Ruth so expressively. This incarnation of the fabled "Sultan of Swat" dates to his early days with the New York Yankees when his legend was being forged, first at the Polo Grounds, and then at the newly built Yankee Stadium, which was aptly named "The House that Ruth Built." It was also the time when Ruth helped save the game of baseball. Major League Baseball entered the 1920s on the heels of the greatest scandal in the sport's history. Fans questioned the integrity of the game and needed a reason to be brought back to the ballpark. Ruth gave them that reason. With the power of the home run, in distances and numbers never seen before, Ruth compelled them to return. He appeared on the scene when baseball needed him most, and he did not disappoint. Few sports stars have ever captured the imagination of an entire nation the way Ruth did during his two-decade career. Ruth was not only the most popular athlete of his day, but a cultural icon, whose name is as familiar to American's today as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.
Ron Stark, the son of well-known cartoonist and caricaturist Bruce Stark, has been one of the leading figures in the world of sports art since the early 1990s, and his works are known for their extraordinary photorealistic effects. In addition to having created numerous cover and interior illustration pieces for a number of leading sports publications, including Sports Collectors Digest, Beckett Baseball Card Monthly, and Golf Digest, Stark was also commissioned to create a piece for Ted Williams' personal collection, which Williams later donated to the Ted Williams Museum. Stark's work can also be found on the Gallery Edition baseball, football, and basketball cards produced by Topps. Original Ron Stark oil paintings are extremely desirable in the sports-art field, especially those depicting legendary figures. The painting (26 x 22 inches) is in Mint condition and has been matted and framed to total dimensions of 29 x 25 inches. The substantial size/weight of this item requires that there will be an additional shipping charge for this lot. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open).