As the National pastime’s season comes to a close we, at The Collection Shop, have been paying close attention to the development of the end of the series. To honor this we look back at the sports history. This beautiful print from the New York Times Best-Selling book, “WE ARE THE SHIP: The Story of Negro League Baseball,” was created by Kadir Nelson. A very talented and influential artist in the United States. Many of Nelson’s paintings are in the collections of notable institutions and public collections, including the U.S. House of Representatives and the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Nelson’s piece, Kansas City Dugout, captures the focused and determined faces of the players, trainer, manager, and bat boy, while in the heat of a home game in Kansas. Most of the subjects of the print are being swallowed, cast in shadow as if in serious doubt of something. While the manager’s (John “Buck” O’Neil) jersey is highlighted across the chest. Causing the name of the team to pop, and come forward, while the characters recede. Much like the teams current standing in history, and the knowledge of them.
One of the longest running franchises in the history of the Negro League, the Monarchs from Kansas City, Missouri, won more than a dozen league championships. The team also sent the most players to the Major Leagues once color lines were overcome. The Monarchs were the Negro Leagues answer to the New York Yankee. Some players from this elite group were Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige, Ernie Banks, Elston Howard, Hank Thompson and Willard “Home Run” Brown.
Kadir Nelson identifies himself as an American, before anything else, and uses this beautifully rendered subject matter to remind us, as a nation, of our joint past Celebrate the growth and unity with the purchase of this piece while we join together in preparation for the World Series!
Written by James Sprang