Let's start with precedents. First, the most recent sale of a Ron Stark original artwork was the 20x26 Ruth/Landis auctioned last year for $12,000. Second, Stark's rare Mantle portraits have only reached the auction block three times previously, with one such example (also featuring Maris) having sold in 2011 for over $10,000.
Yet this hobby-fresh Mick masterpiece is the cream of the crop. Measuring a sizable 30x33, the photorealistic creation is dazzlingly vibrant, kinetic even, showcasing Stark's deft touch of chiaroscuro with our hero bathed in an almost heavenly aura. His neck muscles tensed; his sinewy forearms glistening with blond hair tufts; his bat coated with pine tar; his pinstripes and "NY" logos recalling post-war Yankee glory—such is the intricate detail that has become Stark's stock and trade. There is also a seeming texture to the surface, from the flannel uniform to the wood-grain patterns to the shiny plastic helmet (a classic one-ear style subtly exposing the front tip of the cap brim below). We are up close and personal as never before for the great Commerce Comet's raw brute strength at the plate. Framed with distinction to overall dimensions of 36x39.
This item has a reserve (estimated value $10,000-$12,000).