Jackie Robinson: The Rookie
Jackie Robinson: The Rookie
oil on canvas with walnut and sycamore frame
10 x 12
Collection of Jim Raup
Painted from one of the few photographs taken of Robinson during his rookie year with the Kansas City Monarchs. It would be his first and last in the Negro Leagues, as his contract was sold that winter to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson would play the following year with their farm team, the Montreal Royals, and then make history when he took the field in the Spring of 1947 at Ebbets Field as the first black player in the modern baseball era.
The original black and white photo source for this painting was faded, perhaps from being shot under bright sunlight or from an underdeveloped negative. I worked the painting true to its imperfections but used artistic license for what was the uniform's actual color; the dissolving edges of form embody a symbolic fading of the Negro Leagues after Robinson broke the color barrier, while the scarlet red uniform letters and cap demand sharp attention to the history of this great ballclub and the overall contributions of the Negro Leagues.