Big Papi’s Swat Preserved

by Arnold Balley for The Providence Journal

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Big Papi’s Swat Preserved

October 9, 2005 – A collection of things collectors should know:

BIG PAPI ART: The powerful bat swung by David Ortiz has become the stuff of which legends are made. Big Papi’s clutch hitting carried the Boston Red Sox to a World Series championship last year and into the playoffs this season.

How do you preserve such a legend? The studios of Connecticut-based Bill Goff, Inc., has found a way through the talented artwork of Graig Kreindler, whose painting, “Curse Is Foiled,” has been turned into limited-edition offset lithographs. Kreindler is new to the Bill Goff studio, which since 1977 has included talented artists such as Andy Jurinko, William Feldman and Bill Williams. While Kreindler is new to Goff, his work is well known to baseball fans and collectors, especially his portrayals of Ebbets Field in “The Taj Mahal of Brooklyn” and Lou Gehrig’s dramatic farewell to the game.

The “Curse Is Foiled” preserves Ortiz’s home run on Oct., 18, 2004, at precisely at 1:22 a.m., 5 hours and 2 minutes after Game Four of the American League Championship Series had begun at Fenway Park.

Here’s the scene:

It’s the bottom of the 12th inning, the score is tied 4-4 with the Red Sox on the brink of elimination. Boston’s Manny Ramirez, who singled, is on first. Umpire Jim Joyce is calling balls and strikes behind Yankees catcher Jorge Posada. And New York’s Paul Quantrill has thrown a 2-1 pitch that Ortiz slams into the bullpen in right field.

The Red Sox won, 6-4, on on Ortiz’s walkoff homer, which started the Sox on the eight-game win streak that earned the team its first World Championship in 86 years and broke the so-called “Curse of the Bambino.”

It had been that long since the “Bambino,” Babe Ruth, was sold from Boston to New York and an agonizing hex overshadowed anything else the Boston ballclub could accomplish. Kreindler’s lithographs measure 18 inches by 33 inches and are limited to 600 copies (plus 60 not-for-sale artist proofs). The cost is $140 per lithograph. For information, call (800) 321-4633 or go to the Web site.