“Safe On Base” by Alan Foster May 28, 1927
Alan Foster has a very similar style to Norman Rockwell, and it served him well as he contributed 30 covers to The Saturday Evening Post, from 1923-1933. Unfortunately I couldn’t find a lot of information about Foster. His death is listed in numerous sources as 1969. But a couple of them have him dying in 1934 at the age of 42. Since his last illustration was published in 1933, I tend to lean toward this date. His death at such a young age may be the reason why there’s not much biographical information available.
I love this illustration, and it might be my favorite one so far. The old hidden ball trick. It’s been successfully pulled off in the Major Leagues around 210 times. I remember watching Gene Michael pull it off once, and if memory serves me, he was successful 5 or 6 times in his career. I myself have never been the victim of a hidden ball trick, but I have been the victim of a Nigerian email scam. Mr Mbhuttu seemed so sincere. He called me his dear American friend. Why would he steal from me?
Anyway, the detail in this illustration is just fantastic. The expressions on both boys is perfect. One filled with a youthful innocence, an innocence that may lead him to someday send a check to a Nigerian ambassador, only to find out the world is full of nasty deceitful people who will take your life savings, and leave you with nothing. Why would Mr Mbhuttu do that to me?
Anyway, the other boy’s expression is filled with a baseball savvy, cultivated from endless summers of baseball games. Taking advantage of those less experienced, those less sophisticated in the ways of baseball treachery. The kind of person that would someday pretend to be someone they’re not, only to destroy another human beings self-worth, crushing it beneath a mountain of bitterness and regret. Damn you Mr Mbhuttu.
Anyway, I really love this illustration, despite the emotional angst that it causes me, and I look forward to more baseball themed illustrations from Alan Foster.
In baseball on May 28, 1927 the NY Yankees split a doubleheader with the Washington Senators, winning the 1st game 8-2, Babe Ruth and Bob Muesal hit home runs, and losing the 2nd game to Firpo Marberry 3-2. The 27 Yankees go on to win 110 games and sweep the Pirates in the World Series. This puts the Yankees record on Saturday Evening Post baseball illustration dates at 13-7-1.