Frmr. baseball players meet 57 years after Rockwell painting - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Frmr. baseball players meet 57 years after Rockwell painting

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BOSTON (WHDH) -

Two baseball players depicted together in a classic sports painting got the opportunity to meet each other Monday, 57 years after Norman Rockwell painted them.

The image called “The Rookie” was created for a 1957 magazine cover. It depicts a young Sherman Safford going into the Boston Red Sox locker room at his first visit to Spring Training.

One of the other men in the painting is Frank Sullivan, a Red Sox hall of fame player.

“It’s kind of like the guy who was looking through the knot hole his whole life, this is the moment in the sun that finally pays off,” Safford, now in his 70s, said.

The painting has hung in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts after each of the Red Sox three recent World Series victories, but now it is going to be auctioned off.

The painting is estimated to be worth $20 million to $30 million, but the players say at the time they didn’t even know who they were posing for.

“We didn’t know who he was, we're like ‘Norman Rockwell? Who's that?’ Here's three big ball players and Sammy White finally said to Rockwell, would you stop using the word please, tell us to go sit the hell down,” Sullivan said.

A Rockwell painting last year was estimated to sell for $15 million and went for three times that amount; this painting could also exceed the estimate for it.

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