Who would have thought a place so smelly and messy would be worth so much? A painting by Norman Rockwell, which appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on March 2, 1957, is to be auctioned at Christie’s, with a pre-auction estimate of $20 million to $30 million. The subject?
The painting, “The Rookie (Red Sox Locker Room),” shows pitcher Frank Sullivan, right fielder Jackie Jensen, catcher Sammy White, second baseman Billy Goodman and Hall of Famer Ted Williams. The seasoned, confident players are seen facing an awkward newcomer arriving in the locker room for spring training — dressed in a crumpled suit and a battered bowler hat while also clutching a suitcase, baseball bat and gloves.
On Monday, Sullivan and Rockwell’s model for the rookie, Sherman Safford, will be with the painting at Fenway.
Williams, who retired from baseball the following day, was the only player not to pose for the painting. Rockwell used baseball cards to get his features right.
Safford was a high school baseball player from Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Rockwell used him as a model because he lived close by.
Safford received $120 for modeling for Rockwell, and used it to pay for his car insurance.