Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Man Behind The Cards, Dick Perez

You might not be an avid lover of art, but you've seen this artist's work.  You probably own some of his art even though you don't have a single painting hanging on your walls.  I acquired one of his works yesterday and it is now one of the most important pieces of my collection.   Not my art collection, my baseball card collection.

As I wrote in yesterday's post, "Great Mailday Thanks to Panini America" I received a Donruss Recollection Collection Nolan Ryan Auto as my prize for a contest that Panini ran on their blog, The Knights Lance.   The card is one of their great Donruss Diamond Kings and the portrait of Nolan Ryan was painted by Dick Perez.

Mr. Perez credits include being the official team artist for the Philadelphia Phillies and the official artist for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In addition, some of the cards he's painted are
Topps Turkey Reds and Allen & Ginter Sketch Cards 1/1s
Donruss Diamond Kings and Hall of Fame Heroes

Now Mr. Perez has published a massive book of his baseball art entitled "The Immortals."  It includes 1,400 of his paintings and chronicles the lives of every member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. It includes player's portraits, biographies, lifetime stats and narratives about the eras they played.
I have purposely refrained from posting pictures from the book on this blog because I think you should go to the book's website.  Once there, you can browse the book.  You'll see that it is a truly exquisite chronicle.  The colors are vibrant.  The emotions and nostalgia captured in Perez's work is palpable.  Each page evokes the spirit of the game.  You feel as if you are peering into the souls of these players.  Some of the most striking images are those of player interactions with fans.  But the most poignant paintings for me are those of boys playing pick up games, in city streets and open fields with blue skies.  It speaks to the essence of the game and what you hope these hall of fame players have experienced as grown ups who are living their childhood dreams.

There are three editions of this book, the limited edition (5000 copies), the collector's edition (150 copies) that comes with an original 1/1 Black and White graphite drawing, and the deluxe edition (15 copies) that comes with an original 1/1 water color painting.  (At this time, the website is indicating that the deluxe edition is Sold Out.)

This would make a fantastic gift for someone special (its on my wish list) or you could just spoil yourself and pick one up.

Here are the links to Mr. Perez's web sites, followed by a fantastic video that offers some insight to Mr. Perez and the book.

Dick Perez's official Web Site - http://www.dickperez.com/
Official Web Site for the book - http://www.dickperezimmortals.com/

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