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Norman Rockwell’s “The Rookie” sells for $20 million

May 22, 2014, 11:33 AM EDT

This painting came out in 1957, on the cover of the “Saturday Evening Post.” It’s a pretty good painting as far as Rockwells go, I suppose. I like it mostly because ever since I first saw it my personal caption for it has been “A new guy? Oh my God, I hope — oh, whew! Don’t worry everyone. He’s white.”


In any event, this pre-Pumpsie Green Red Sox clubhouse scene just sold for $20 million. Which, wow.

  1. tfbuckfutter - May 22, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    I can just imagine what my grandma’s Thomas Kinkade collection will be worth someday.


  2. fomeols - May 22, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Your commentary was completely ridiculous.
    You don’t understand the appeal of a Norman Rockwell, that is fine: however, you should accept that people with excellent taste and culture do appreciate and value it
    I do not like Brahms, but I am willing to accept his Genius.

    • larrymahnken - May 22, 2014 at 12:10 PM

      Your comment is completely ridiculous.
      You don’t understand the appeal of a Craig Calcaterra post, that is fine: however, you should accept that people with excellent taste and culture do appreciate and value him
      I do not like Gleeman, but I am willing to accept his Genius.

    • mkd - May 22, 2014 at 12:39 PM

      Crazy enough I’m blasting Brahms Symphony No. 1 as we speak (Marin Alsop-LPO). How can you not like this??? No snark intended–what way do your tastes run if not through this? Genuinely curious.

    • 18thstreet - May 22, 2014 at 1:12 PM


      It wasn’t accidental that Rockwell painted a white rookie. A black rookie would have been a different painting.

  3. koufaxmitzvah - May 22, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    Norman Rockwell is the Family Circus of painters.

    • baberuthslegs - May 22, 2014 at 3:06 PM

      Mitzvah, you used to offer excellent commentary but now you’re just a grouch.

      • koufaxmitzvah - May 22, 2014 at 5:05 PM

        I didn’t mention that Family Circus makes me want to vomit.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2014 at 5:22 PM

      Your reply made me laugh out loud Sandy. Great stuff.
      Please know I gave you a thumbs up.

      The thumbs up was for making me laugh.
      I think still you are bat sh_t crazy for not liking Family Circus (and to a lesser degree) Norman Rockwell!

      • koufaxmitzvah - May 22, 2014 at 5:55 PM

        Family Circus makes you laugh? I thought you were better than that, Lou.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2014 at 6:01 PM

      Occassionally…yes. It is hard to find a great deal of “clean” humor in today’s world.
      So admittedly, when I find somethng even remotely funny in Family Circus I typically chuckle.
      It’s a good thing I don’t have your email address.
      Cause’ I would be sending you countless Family Circus comics that I find even somewhat funny!

      • koufaxmitzvah - May 22, 2014 at 6:14 PM

        You are the wholesome type, that is true. Very Middle America. I, on the other hand, would mail you a copy of Blazing Saddles. Because nothing’s more American than a Western written by a black man and directed by a Jew.

  4. jimmyt - May 22, 2014 at 12:32 PM

    His commentary is completely ridiculous but has little to do with art. It deals more in the bizarre world of Liberal Guilt. Guilt they should have plenty of but this instance it is not warranted.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2014 at 12:51 PM

      Yeah…much like a broken record Jimmy. It keeps skipping…and skipping and skipping.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 22, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      What exactly should liberals feel guilty about?

      • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        That’s an easy one Church. Your circumstances of course.
        The world (your world) in which you were born into.
        Leading a charmed life if you will.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 22, 2014 at 3:07 PM

        And who is saying I should feel guilty about that? Acknowledging that being born as a white male has tremendous advantages isn’t the same being guilty about it. Understanding that those that aren’t white, or male, or both have far more disadvantages than I isn’t feeling guilty about it. Knowing that it was just less than 50 years ago that we had to pass the Civil Rights Act, or that a part of the Voting Rights Act got overturned, has consequences isn’t feeling guilty.

        Let’s not confuse that with actually feeling guilty about something.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2014 at 5:25 PM

        Yeah…I got back into and had to quit again when a customer walked in.
        Seems to be a very good read…just lengthy.

    • clemente2 - May 22, 2014 at 2:25 PM

      Just a historical comment/joke. Your sensitivity and reaction to it is the interesting psychological point–I think it is called “shame and its repression”.

      Perhaps reading the excellent new article in The Atlantic will help you and stlouis with this:

      • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM

        Wonderful article Roberto! Admittedly, I have only read the first 1/3 thus far due to the size of the article itself. But I have copied and pasted the link to my desktop so I can read it in it’s entirety when I get some more time.

        Just one question. A question that I am sure you can help me with.
        What does C.C’s last two sentences have to do with reparations?

      • clemente2 - May 22, 2014 at 3:41 PM

        stlouis–it was a response to jimmy, see position in thread, which also had nothing to do with Craig’s post.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2014 at 4:40 PM

        My fault Roberto. You can understand my confusion.
        I saw this…”help you and stlouis with this”
        and thought…what the hell do I have to do with it?

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 22, 2014 at 4:47 PM

        Geez I’m only about 2/3 through. Copy/pasted it to word and it ends up being about 53 pages. Longest “article” I’ve ever read.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 22, 2014 at 8:30 PM

        Excellent article, and the conclusion was completely different than what I imagined. Although I should have known better, the West Wing did something very similar (S1E18, Six Meetings Before Lunch)

  5. philguthrie2014 - May 22, 2014 at 1:08 PM

    The individual in the painting with the towel on his shoulder is Del Wilber to whom I am related to by marriage. He helped bring some of the first African Americans into MLB. His son, Del Wilber Jr., runs an organization that among other things helps minorities land jobs in the back offices of major league sports, where they are poorly represented:

    Mr. Calcaterra’s commentary defames Del Wilber, Ted Williams, Norman Rockwell and others in the painting. It is, in short, disgusting, as well as totally irrelevant to the news his is reporting.

    Mr. Calcaterra goal here is to assert his (highly questionable) moral superiority by trashing real people who are infinitely more deserving of respect than he.

    If NBCSports had an editor worthy of the title, they would fire him for such unprofessional behavior.

    But of course they won’t because they’re just as bad as he is.

    • lazyhorse420 - May 22, 2014 at 1:22 PM

      Game, set, match. Save yourself the embarrassment, dont try to even feign an excuse Craig.

    • dohpey28 - May 22, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      The ones to always jump at an opportunity to point out stuff like this are usually the ones with the biggest hidden demons when it comes to the subject.

      Thank You for your insightful post.

    • jerze2387 - May 22, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      if NBCSports had an editor worthy of the title, there’d be NOBODY left writing on ProBacketballTalk anymore either

      • jm91rs - May 22, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        If you’re comments had an editor they probably would have corrected probacketball talk.

        Sorry, I had to do it.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      CC’s game is all about clicks and comments. His topics (and subsequent comments) have one goal. Generate the most reader comments. It’s why you will see he cherry picks the most controversial topics. If I were Gleeman, Silva, The Dip Wad, etc… I would complain to him every chance I got about it. To the point of him simply having to throw me a bone every now and again.

      It’s too bad really. Cause’ I dig his articles (when he isn’t trying to Dramafy it for shock and aww).

    • clemente2 - May 22, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      phil—you and the others above have a reading comprehension problem. Get remedial help soon.

      • philguthrie2014 - May 22, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        Okay, Princeton Review, what do you think the author means by his race baiting?

      • jm91rs - May 22, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        I think he means to find humor. In 1957 I can bet you some of the people on that team had these exact thoughts. They weren’t funny of course, but thinking about how ridiculous that seems in today’s baseball, I find humor in it.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        Again…I implore you to help me Roberto.
        In this case…what does reading comprehension have to do with C.C.’s last two sentences?
        For the record…don’t reply with “finding humor” as JM mentions.
        After all, it’s pretty obvious by these comments most everyone is over C.C.’s constant Jerry Springer style approach.

      • clemente2 - May 22, 2014 at 3:21 PM

        Stlouis, you are not paying me to be your reading tutor. So you only get the short version.

        The post makes no comment about the actual persons in the picture. Nor does the picture. While Rockwell was notorious for needing real life models to do his illustrations, his intent in using them was as an ideal of the point he was making. Thus, “MLB ballplayers”, not specific Red Sox players. And the post’s joke is a comment on the Red Sox legacy of being the last team to integrate, a point you all apparently cannot come to grips with. The irony inherent in the ‘caption contest’ process.

        And, yes, stlouis, that’s all there is to it. Just the humor, and the surprising to Craig price paid for it. Expanding that joke to an outraged defense of the actual persons used as models, or as this thread gets going below to the jutted-out jaw “I ain’t guilty”, misses the point entirely. Reading comprehension.

        By the way, phil, I did some reading on your relatives, and they seemed like interesting and accomplished people. You are right to be proud of them, and I understand your desire to protect them. Do them proud by encouraging people to learn about them, which a comment in this light joke of a post could have done.

      • philguthrie2014 - May 22, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        That’s a nice bit of Sophistry, Clemente. Tell me, if you overheard someone telling racist jokes, would you dismiss it as an attempt at humor or irony? Of course not, you’d give me them the contempt they deserve and plenty of it. But if it’s a race baiting smear, that gets a pass from you.

        The truth be told, the author’s motives have nothing to do with my grandfather-in-law, the Red Sox or MLB. The author particular hatred is directed at Norman Rockwell in general and the America of yesterday that his works represent.

        Well, it is true that many aspects of that America of old deserve our condemnation — the Democrat Party’s support for slavery and segregation chief among them — many of us still hold a belief in the fundamental goodness of our nation, warts and all.

        The author rightly recognizes that belief as a threat to his desire and those of our president to “fundamentally transform the country”. And that threat must be destroy regardless of the collateral damage done to people.

      • clemente2 - May 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM

        Oh, boy, phil, you came right out and gave us the agenda—there you go, stlouis, see if you want to sit in that pile now.

        “Race baiting” is a term like “race card” used by racists to hide their true feelings from a society that for the most part finds their feelings repellant.

        Was the comment about Democratic Party support for slavery 150 years ago part of today’s Glenn Beck feed? This truly counts as effective argument for you?

        I take it back, phil—you should not try to defend your relatives—you do them only dishonor. (And if somehow you think NRockwell is the glory of ‘old time values’, you need not only remedial reading but a course in aesthetics. Oh, yea, your hero Norman was gay–you know, one of those people trying to “fundamentally transform the country”.


      • philguthrie2014 - May 22, 2014 at 10:58 PM

        Every argument won against a liberal must necessarily end with insults and non-sequiturs. How else would their agenda survive without demonizing their opponents? Certainly not by force of logic or experience.

        At the time this work was painted, the Democrat party was in full support of segregation. I believe that to be relevant given your obvious need to preen your supposed moral superiority.

        If indeed Rockwell was homosexual, I couldn’t care less. I leave it to the Left to pigeon-hole people based on race and/or sexual-orientation. You have so much more skill and enthusiasm for it than ever I could muster.

        As for the quality of the work, I believe the purchase price speaks for itself. You think anyone’s going to pay a dime for say, Robert Mapplethorpe’s “work” in 50 years? I mention him only because you seem to want to introduce gay-baiting to your race-baiting diatribe; I thought I’d throw you a bone to go with your dog whistle.

        When you wrestle with a pig, you get dirty and the pig enjoys himself. More fool me.

      • clemente2 - May 23, 2014 at 3:41 PM

        phil–its funny you think you ‘won’ anything.

        You convinced me you are a mindless regurgitator of faux-populist propaganda put out by the useful idiots of the corporate state. If that is your victory, have at it.

        Just as you have no imagination as to art, you do not understand the current art market, where a whole lot of effort is going into selling junk because the good stuff is locked away in museums and collections, yet the collecting population is bigger and richer than ever before. The prices reflect ‘fool and his money’.

        I also love the irrational jump from your already irrelevant Civil War comment to the newly-irrelevant comment about the later 1950s; only you have brought the Democratic Party into this, now twice, and twice uselessly. An issue for you, huh?

        Please ‘logic and experience’ out of this–they are strangers to you, and children should not play with strangers.

        ((for anyone coming to this at this late date for a blog post, you might avoid phil’s fate and greatly help yourself by reading “Moral Imagination” by Bromwich, a collection of essays).

    • btilghman - May 22, 2014 at 3:04 PM

      I’m a total bleeding-heart liberal who mostly loves Craig’s take on things, but this comment is spot on. Really, I’m astonished you don’t know about Williams’ famous statement about wanting to see Negro Leaguers in the Hall of Fame, Craig. It wasn’t the players’ fault their owner was an unrepentant racist. You’d think that the class warrior in Craig would have recognized that.

  6. steelhammer92 - May 22, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Out of respect to your readers, you need stop injecting liberal BS into every other article you write. I’ll never buy into the liberal self-guilt junk forced onto us by the media. I wasn’t around during slavery or the civil rights movements. It’s not my responsibility, and I don’t have to feel guilty for anyone in this day in age, because of what happened before my time.

    • anxovies - May 22, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      “Out of respect to your readers.” ??? Have you read some of the comments in this website?

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 22, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      It’s not my responsibility, and I don’t have to feel guilty for anyone in this day in age, because of what happened before my time.

      Were you born yesterday, because a lot of stuff happens every day to minorities/women in this country, not just 30, 50, 100+ years ago.

      • jm91rs - May 22, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        But his point still applies, don’t feel guilty for something you didn’t do or aren’t doing.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 22, 2014 at 2:39 PM

        See my comment above, who is feeling guilty?

    • clemente2 - May 22, 2014 at 3:02 PM

      steel–what an ignorant and limited view of the world.

      You do not need to feel guilty to think wrongs have occurred, to notice wrongs are occurring, and to believe the inequalities created by such wrongs should be delat with. That is not guilt. It is integrity and honor. The opposite of the shameful position you have embraced. Grow up.

      Have you been paying attention to the world the time you lived in it? Have you not read the avalanche of words recording the racist acts and consequences of the present times?

      Go read and think about the article I linked to above.

  7. chinahand11 - May 22, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Hey Craig! Great article, great comment, great painting by an American great. Hope you like this great message.

  8. dtownbeatdown - May 22, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    Just waiting on my Bob Ross original to appreciate in value…

    “We want happy paintings. Happy paintings. If you want sad things, watch the news.”
    -Bob Ross

    What a genius.

  9. jm91rs - May 22, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Why all the hate for this post by Craig? I do not consider myself to be liberal, and I don’t see liberal leanings in this particular post. Craig has been known to annoy me once or a hundred times, but this is clearly just humor. It’s 1957 and Jackie had broken the barrier 10 years earlier. Baseball had changed significantly in the previous decade and the Red Sox were one of the last (if not THE last, I can’t remember) teams to integrate. I find humor in thinking that some of those players might have been scared every spring training that a black man was about to be playing and rooming with them. I think most of us assume Ted Williams was ok with the thought of a black major leaguer. Now if you know one of these guys personally Phil, I guess it would be annoying that Craig completely ignored that the guy was all for integration, but most people would not know that and I thank you for enlightening us.

    And it didn’t seem like he was taking any shots at Rockwell. I think it was an attempt at humor for the players, and the “wow” comment was pretty similar to what I said when I saw that it went for $20M. I’m impressed / dumbfounded that anyone can or would want to spend that much on a painting. It’s especially impressive when you consider how relatively modern it is compared to some of history’s greatest art.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      Because people are over his constant beating of the drum JM.
      In this case…he absolutely could have left his last two sentences out.
      In this case…he insulted pretty much everyone in this picture (and their families).
      Case in point…Phil.
      In this case…he doesn’t know his proverbial ass from a hole in the ground.

      • dluxxx - May 22, 2014 at 5:31 PM

        I’ll be honest. I had no idea that those were real people in the painting. I guess I never realized that any Norman Rockwell paintings were supposed to be real people. That changes my whole world view.

        Norman Rockwell painted child porn. Those poor children with their butts showing, on the toilet, etc. What a pervert! And everyone lauds this sicko? They should burn all his paintings!!!!

      • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2014 at 5:47 PM

        Hahahaha! Awesome post Dluxxx. I mean that sincerely. Between you and Sandy talking about Family Circus making him puke…THAT is humor.

      • clemente2 - May 22, 2014 at 7:41 PM

        dluxxx. loved this.

  10. whatacrocker - May 22, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    To stlouis, steelhammer, clemente, et. al.: The gross overreactions to a tongue-in-cheek post that happens to mention race are REALLY helping to prove your point that racism is no longer an issue in American society. Nice job!

    • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2014 at 4:47 PM

      I never said that racism is no longer an issue. Case in point…every time my best freind (who is black) and I go to a hard rock concert people stop him, pat him on the back, tell him “thanks for coming” and then lament how they can’t believe his likes hard rock music. Him being him…he let’s it go. It is me who gives them an earful (or more) and him who pulls ME away.

      Again…this has nothing to do with racism specifically and everything to do with CC beating his irrating drum at every turn. Dude simply can’t NOT do it. Incredibly irritating.

      • jm91rs - May 22, 2014 at 7:21 PM

        I don’t even hear the drum anymore I guess. Eventually people are what they are and it’s pretty easy to block out the parts I don’t want to hear. Side note, how hard of rock are we talking?

      • Reflex - May 23, 2014 at 12:17 AM

        Man I’m glad you reminded me your best friend is black. I had almost forgotten that entirely since the last race related thread in which you assured us that you have a best black friend. It always takes me that reminder so that I realize that there is no way you could ever be unsympathetic to race issues in our country.

        Out of curiosity, have you made any progress in finding a gay best friend? Or maybe you could check and see if your black friend is maybe gay? It would help a lot with other topics you wish to be an unbiased authority on…

        Oh, and about the jews…maybe your friend could convert?

      • stlouis1baseball - May 27, 2014 at 1:44 PM

        If you would knock that chip off your shoulder you would realize my example was on point with regards to racism still being an issue in this country. Naturally, had my friend been white in that example it would not have spoken to said racism still being prevalent.
        As for a “gay best friend”…my neighbors are gay. Wonderful guys. Our families spend a great deal of time together. We live in the Country and watch one another’s homes when one of us is gone for vacation, business, etc… We also tend to each other’s animals during these same scenarios. Not “best friends” by any means. But certainly “great friends.”
        As for the jewish folk…none that I would consider my best friend. But I did go to school and socialize with several. Admittedl though, I am ignorant to the jewish faith, culture, etc…
        Back to that chip on your shoulder…you would be far better served to get rid of it. It isn’t healthy for you. And makes you look like a complete penishead.

      • Reflex - May 27, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        Like it or not, if your response to people pointing out your racial insensitivity is “my best friend is black” you are playing into a racist stereotype. It does not in any way bolster your case, it actually makes you look worse. A racist can still have black friends, it does not indemnify them from being racist.

        I am not accusing you of being racist, I do not know you well enough to know if you are or not. But whether or not you have a black friend in no way affects whether or not you are. And the fact that your position is very predictable on threads about race, it kind of implies that you may be, at least a little bit. Someone who takes the time to continually comment on race, and always in favor of the racist side, is someone who at the least appears to be a bit racist themselves.

        I don’t have a chip on my shoulder. I am in no way upset. You are one of the more intelligent posters here, I just hope that by pointing out your logical fallacies you may start to question how you are presenting yourself. It is very easy to dismiss any point you may wish to make when you keep playing up to a stereotype.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 27, 2014 at 3:35 PM

        Believe me…I understand your point. But from where I sit all you saw were the words “black best friend” or “my friend who is black.” I kindly ask that you re-read my post. You will see that I ONLY pointed it out because it was critical to the point in which I was making. The ingrates actually thought there was no way he could possibly like hard rock music becaue of the color of his skin! And this wasn’t the first concert in which this has happened. And somehow…you managed to make a mountain…out of a mole hill.

      • Reflex - May 27, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        Honestly if the point has to be made by pointing out his race and status as your best friend, then the point isn’t very good to begin with. And honestly it was not. And again, the point is that you are predictably using this as a defense of those who feel there is no racism problem in America, which makes you look a bit racist yourself whether you are or not.

        You bash on Craig for beating a drum, but quite frankly he beats the drum because there IS a race issue. You continue to minimize that and use your personal experiences to justify it. But that in no way changes reality for others. Social issues do not go away by being ignored, they never have and they never will. I would say that I am sorry that you are irritated by it, but really I’m not. It would be better if you questioned why it irritates you in the first place, especially since you claim to have seen some of it yourself.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 27, 2014 at 6:05 PM

        I am going to have to politely disagree with your sentiment about “my point” specifically. But again, I do hear what you are saying (in general). You make a great point with regards to your last couple of sentences. It isn’t the fact that it irritates me in and of itself. It’s the fact that people are so quick to scream it when it isn’t there to begin with. I brought up an instance when it was there and you somehow tried to contort it to serve your purpose. And in my opinion, that actually does a greater disservice. Much like the story of the boy who cried wolf. We are going to have to agree to disagree on this one Reflex. It’s been a long day. I am out.
        Have a good evening!

    • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2014 at 5:27 PM

      I have family in Crocker, Missouri.

    • clemente2 - May 22, 2014 at 7:33 PM

      Not my point. Thanks for reading.

  11. therealtrenches - May 22, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Craig, there’s no conclusive visual evidence *within the frame* to confirm your suspicion that these guys were worried that the new rookie might be African American. In fact, there’s very little visual evidence to suggest that they look relieved.

    Reading paintings isn’t rocket science, but it does require thought.

  12. bdunker - May 22, 2014 at 5:00 PM

    Maybe, Mr. Calcaterra, you should have done a little research on Norman Rockwell paintings “Murder in Mississippi” and “The Problem We All Live With” before you made such a foolish statement.
    Funny how you who are so against stereotyping continue to do it yourself.

    • clemente2 - May 22, 2014 at 7:38 PM

      Try this—the post is not about the painting. It is not about Rockwell. Its about a joke derived from the letters on the painted players. On the baseball history those letters evoke.

  13. denny65 - May 22, 2014 at 8:31 PM

    Why is it that liberals are always the first to inject race into discussions?

    Craig, you’re a walking, talking/writing Exhibit A for liberal white guilt.

    When do we get back to talking about baseball?

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 22, 2014 at 9:48 PM

      Why is it that liberals are always the first to inject race into discussions?

      Because conservatives think racism ended with Rosa Parks? If we’re making blanket statements…

      talking/writing Exhibit A for liberal white guilt.

      It’s been 7+ hours since I asked, getting some thumbs down but no responses. What exactly is white guilt and what should I feel guilty about?

  14. Craig Calcaterra - May 22, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    So, I hadn’t been in this thread all day until now. Hoo-boy.

    Without going person by person, if anyone would like to argue about the Red Sox of the 1950s being a beacon of racial tolerance, by all means do so. I happen to have history on my side in noting that the Red Sox were the absolute dead last team to integrate, not doing do until two years after this painting saw the light of day.

    Quibble if you will. Say I besmirched the name of some players in the painting. Whatever. But there was not a more retrograde team, racially speaking, than the Boston Red Sox. That is fact.

    • lazyhorse420 - May 22, 2014 at 9:14 PM

      Stop, you’re embarrassing yourself.

    • Ryan - May 22, 2014 at 9:19 PM

      Right on, Craig. I remember, growing up a Red Sox fan, being aghast when I learned about their awful history with black players in the ’40s and ’50s. Especially since I had always thought Tom Yawkey must have been great since they named a street after him. As always, things are more complicated than they initially seem.

      Also, holy crap, the “not ALL white people” people in this thread need to get a grip.

    • therealtrenches - May 22, 2014 at 9:39 PM

      Craig, without referring to context, explain which part of the painting even suggests — let alone conclusively shows — that the players portrayed are worried that “the rookie” might have been African American. Analyze the visual evidence and prove your interpretation. And if you can’t, then retract it. It’s pretty simple actually.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 22, 2014 at 9:46 PM

        that the players portrayed are worried that “the rookie” might have been African American

        It’s called a joke genius. A sense of humor? try it sometime…

      • Craig Calcaterra - May 22, 2014 at 9:48 PM

        That wasn’t the point. Nothing in the painting itself suggest that. The era of the painting and the team’s history of that time period establishes that it would be shocking indeed if a black player were on the Red Sox at that time.

    • whatacrocker - May 22, 2014 at 11:06 PM

      Eventually, of course, the Red Sox moved past their racism and got to work on bigger and better things, like covering up for pedophiles:

    • btilghman - May 23, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      Craig, my problem with this post is that it only serves to reinforce the right-wing stereotype of white-guilt liberalism that will see racism in anything. It allows them to claim that liberals are unhinged and irrational, which, coming from the side harboring climate-change deniers and creationists, is pretty rich.

      No one is disputing that the 50’s Red Sox *management* was racist, but that fact has little do do with this painting (or the fact that it sold for so much). Trolling race relations as you do here does far far more damage than good.

      People make dumb jokes, Craig. It’s OK. Just own up to this one.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 23, 2014 at 4:31 PM

        serves to reinforce the right-wing stereotype of white-guilt liberalism

        Again, wtf is white guilt liberalism? Amazing that so many people use this term but can’t define it. We’re entering Born Yesterday’s Alexis de Tocqueville territory…

  15. therealtrenches - May 22, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    Fair enough, Craig. Thanks for answering my question.

    Now you know all to well: if it aint irrefutably there, you can’t say you see it there, even if you have knowledge of context that suggests it to you. And you *especially* can’t impute something racist into an image if it’s not conclusively there. It’ll drive people nuts.

    Hoo boy.

  16. philguthrie2014 - May 22, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    If your post had been directed at the ownership of the Red Sox, then it would have found a proper target, but it wasn’t. It attempted to imagine what the PLAYERS were thinking, and imputing racist motivations to them and/or to a great American artist.

    As such it is a form of libel, albeit one that many here have attempted to weasel you out of by calling it humor.

    Your attempt to state that those who disagree with you are putting forth the idea that the Red Sox ownership was a “beacon of racial tolerance” is a straw man argument. No one is saying that.

    Your post was intellectually dishonest and lazy, at best a cheap stunt to drum up controversy by fomenting racial unrest through smearing people.

    That you would respond to public objections by calling them “quibbles” and dismissing them with a “whatever” is pathetic.

    Your behavior is the reason people disrespect journalists, and why so many of you are out of work.

    • Reflex - May 23, 2014 at 12:30 AM

      You’d be more believable in your outrage if you hadn’t ranted your agenda above. There is nothing Craig could explain that would satisfy you because you are hypersensitive to everything you choose to perceive as left of the positions you are wedded to.

      But hey, that seems to be the in thing among the right wing these days, to create huge amounts of faux outrage to get worked up into a lather about.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - May 23, 2014 at 7:51 AM

      fomenting racial unrest through smearing people.

      I can almost guarantee this readership is something like 95% white, and probably 97% male. How exactly would this post foment racial unrest?

      Your behavior is the reason people disrespect journalists, and why so many of you are out of work.

      He’s not a journalist, he’s a blogger. The reason so many journalists are out of work is people can find better stories outside the traditional media coverage. Aka, they go somewhere else if they don’t like what they are reading. Maybe you should do the same?

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