Anderson: Who was ‘The Rookie’ in Rockwell’s famous Red Sox painting?

From Chris Anderson at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune on May 21, 2014:

The freckle-faced hayseed with the coffee-saucer ears and aw-shucks grin strolled into the clubhouse one spring day in Sarasota, oblivious to those who mocked his charming grand entrance.

He was a gawky kid, fresh off the bus, far from the pastoral surroundings of home, and the suit he was outgrowing exposed the white socks under his penny loafers. He wore a straw carnival barker’s hat and in his left hand was a wooden bat, floppy glove and a tattered suitcase held shut by a belt.

An innate aura of optimism surrounded the kid, but the other Boston Red Sox players in the room, grizzled veterans like the great Ted Williams, harrumphed the awkward appearance of “The Rookie” — and all he represented — inside their sacred sanctum.

This was the scene Norman Rockwell created for the March 2, 1957 cover of the Saturday Evening Post, the iconic magazine of yesteryear, and there are two Sarasota connections in what could be the most expensive American painting ever sold.

The original painting of “The Rookie” is scheduled to go up for auction Thursday morning in New York, and Christie’s Auction House has it valued at $20 million to $30 million.

But that’s just for starters.

It could go much higher.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: May 21, 2014. Last Updated: May 21, 2014.