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Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
LANCE RICHBOURG (1938-) "'Shoeless' Joe Jackson."
India ink on paper, 1987. 763x560 mm; 30x22 inches. Signed and captioned on verso with artist's fish stamp. Mounted to backing board and framed to 33x24 inches.
Realistic portraits of baseball players and game scenes are Richbourg's primary subject matter. He was inspired by his father, Lance Sr., who was signed in 1919 by John McGraw of the N.Y. Giants and played professional baseball until 1938. "I would debate anyone that baseball is far superior to any other sport in terms of its beauty, the range of skills required to play, and its clarity and subversion of time. As an artist, I have been satisfied with the possibilities of depicting the light and space of the playing field and the grace of player movements amidst explosive action" (from the artist's website).
Joseph Jefferson Jackson (1887-1951), often remembered as "Shoeless Joe" because he sometimes played barefoot as a boy, was a star baseball player with Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox in the 1910s. He was among the eight "Black Sox" players charged with accepting bribes to lose the 1919 World Series, although his batting average was a very strong .375 and he was charged with no errors in the field. He was banned from baseball for life, and later barred from entry to the Hall of Fame, decisions which remain controversial to this day. The resonance of Jackson's story has transcended baseball and entered into American legend. The newspaper headline "Say it ain't so, Joe" remains part of the national lexicon. He was portrayed by D.B. Sweeney in the 1988 John Sayles film Eight Men Out, and more memorably by Ray Liotta as a central figure in the 1989 film Field of Dreams. The Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum opened in his hometown of Greenville, SC in 2008. (Biographical credit and special thanks goes to Swann's Americana Director and brilliant Baseball historian, Rick Stattler).