Stark works his magic with Pujols & Co. …

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   Speaking of art, one of the top sports artists around, Ron Stark, has provided his talents to Upper Deck for a promotional effort that’s part of the All-Star FanFest currently underway in St. Louis.
  
   Stark, son of the legendary former New York Daily News staff artist Bruce Stark, produced the painting shown here that depicts Ozzie Smith, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Albert Pujols and Stan Musial side-by-side in the new stadium. Stark’s incredible work, which has appeared in the pages of Sports Collectors Digest for more than 15 years (www.ronstarkstudios.com), neatly manages to plunk down guys from four different eras quite nicely, no easy challenge given the necessity to work from photographs that makes such an undertaking fraught with difficulties.
  
   The original artwork has been on display throughout FanFest, which is apparently headed for record attendance numbers in historically baseball-crazy St. Louis. The painting will be auctioned tomorrow as a special addition to Hunt’s All-Star Auction held in conjunction with the game. In addition, the painting is also featured in a Cardinals Painting card that is randomly seeded and numbered to 500 in Upper Deck redemption packs distributed at FanFest.
  
   Once I got out of the Navy in 1972, I made a kind of ill-advised vow that I would never stand in line for anything if I could help it for the rest of my life. Lining up for what seemed like forever for the privilege of eating crappy powdered eggs on an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea had prompted the ban, but it probably hurt me years later when I wouldn’t get my Macroeconomics textbooks until about five weeks into the semester.
  
   I mention this because I would stand in line for one of these cards. Nuff said. And no, that’s not a clever plug to have anyone send me one. It’s just an editorial comment.

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