The faces are instantly recognizable to baseball fans, brought to life with amazing accuracy and visual backgrounds that speak to their era.
Yes, the artwork of Andy Jurinko, supplemented by the words of noted author Christopher Jennison, instantly make Golden Boys: Baseball Portraits, 1946-1960 a must-have addition to any baseball library.
The hardcover coffee table book ($50, Skyhorse Publishing) grabs your attention at the cover and doesn’t stop for another 280 pages. I bet some astute SCD readers could rattle off all 40 players featured on the front cover and perform a similar feat for the back cover. If you can’t, you’re sure to get answers on the inside, along with a host of other players’ paintings and snippets of information on what made them integral parts of baseball’s Golden Era.
Jurinko, who passed away in 2011, believed the best era in baseball occured from 1946-60, when the likes of Jackie Robinson, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams and Hank Aaron entered the main stage and sent fans into lifelong fits of devotion. They, along with the stadiums they played in are gloriously portrayed in more than 600 portraits throughout the book.
Even without any accompanying text, you’d have a best-seller. But Jennison’s historical text, whether recapping a season or telling the tale of players like Sam Jethroe, completes the package and makes it an instant classic.
To help relive the era even more, the appendices list year-by-year statistics, along with cumulative stats for teams, players and managers. Let’s just say, these guys were good.
Visit www.skyhorsepublishing.com or call (212) 643-6816 for ordering information.