Ralph Fasanella – Night Game/ ‘Tis a Bunt 1981
Ah, the dark days of winter are receding. The trees are budding out and the green of the grass (under the newly fallen four inches of snow!) is pushing aside the dead growth of a long gone last year. The robins have returned and once again the world makes sense– the daily metronome that is major league baseball returns today.
It’s opening day.
I am not going to wax poetic today about the game, its history or the place that it holds in the hearts of so many. It just feels like the real New Year’s Day for me and many other fans, that day on which the year truly begins.
The painting at the top, Night Game/ ‘Tis a Bunt, is one of my favorite baseball paintings from the great folk painter Ralph Fasanella. I love this particular piece and the way the baseball diamond feels more like a real diamond in an ornate and wondrous setting. Great piece. And this piece on the right is from my own baseball series from a few years back. I loved doing that series and these pieces remain among my personal favorites. I haven’t painted one in a while but sometimes think about revisiting that old ballfield.
For this Sunday Morning Music, in honor of the game, I’m going to make it a double-header. First, there’s Take Me out to Ballpark, as played by Harpo Marx on I Love Lucy in 1955 , which is Cheri’s all-time favorite. I’ve shown it several times but it’s so darn good, it never gets old. And after that there’s bluesy 1976 homage to late great pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter which is called, of course, Catfish.
Have a great Sunday and hopefully you’ll get to hear the umpire call out “Play ball!”