04
Dec
09

Norman Rockwell — Destroyer of the Chicago Cubs


It’s long been believed in Chicago that the Cubs streak of futility was caused when a man wasn’t allowed to bring his lucky goat into the stadium during the 1945 World Series but perhaps the source of all the team’s failures is someone else, famed illustrator Norman Rockwell.

In an iconic 1948 painting entitled, “The Dugout,” Rockwell painted a forlorn Cubs batboy resigned to yet another failure, in the background are slumped over Cubs players and managers and over them are jeering, disappointed fans. Not a pretty picture. A study for the final piece (that’s housed down the street from where I live at the Brooklyn Museum) was recently sold to a private collector for $662,500. The original picture was the cover for a 1948 Saturday Evening Post and was done in Boston prior to a Boston Braves/Cubs game; in fact the batboy isn’t a member of the Cubs but was the visiting team’s assigned batboy and actually a Boston native.

Scott Simon, an NPR¬†host and Chicago native, has a print of “The Dugout” hanging in his office: “The fact that this painting was on the cover of the most popular magazine in America at the time, and had been painted by the most popular illustrator at the time, cemented in people’s minds the image of the Cubs as losers. Of course, they did everything possible to live up to that image. But after that picture, we no longer talked about a team that won nine pennants but about lovable losers.”

After the Cubs posed for the picture the lost both ends of a doubleheader, their catcher (who is directly behind the batboy) was beaned in the head. On the day the cover was published, Sept. 4,1948, the Cubs lost 6-0 to the Brooklyn Dodgers; All Star pitcher Johnny Schmitz who stands to the right of the batboy gave up 5 runs in 3 innings during that game.

[Chicago Tribune]


0 Responses to “Norman Rockwell — Destroyer of the Chicago Cubs”



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow The Slanch Report

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 19 other followers

Sign Our Petition!

The Slanch Report has started an online petition asking the MLB Network to air the Dock Ellis no-hitter he threw on June 12, 1970 against the San Diego Padres. The moment was a seminal piece of baseball history and is certainly worthy of being rerun.

Please join us in this cause and sign the petition below so we can all share in this special and fantastic moment of baseball history. THANKS!
SIGN THE PETITION HERE! AND PLEASE TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND PASS THIS ALONG!

December 2009
M T W T F S S
« Nov   Jan »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Categories


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: