Monday, April 2, 2012

Creator: Frank Frazetta and Baseball

April 4 is opening day for the 2012 season of Major League Baseball. In the 1940s, Frank Frazetta played sandlot baseball for the Islanders in the Marine Park Division of the Parade Grounds Baseball League. Here are a few articles from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 7, 1946
Last paragraph

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 1, 1948
First paragraph

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 9, 1949
Last paragraph

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 6, 1950
22nd on the list

Ariel, Volume Two, 1977, published the second part of Armand Eisen's interview with Frank Frazetta; excerpts from the interview:

What age were you when you got the pro baseball offer from the Giants?

I think I was about twenty.

Johnny Comet came along. Why did you decide not to go with baseball? That was an important decision—you could have been a professional athlete.

Stupidity. Just dumb, negative attitude. Also at the time, I was involved with a girl. And the fact that I would have to go off with the farm team somewhere down in Texas and sweat it out for a year didn't seem very appealing. It was very different than it is now. If they approached me today and I was in my twenties…

Would you do it?

Yes, I would, assuming that I had the same ability. The first thing they would do would be to offer me a tremendous amount of dough. There were no huge bonuses in those days—most kids were delighted to go down and struggle in the minors. I realize now that I would have had a good chance of graduating to the major leagues in a hurry.

Today, do you regret that you didn't…


Do you really? Is that the truth, Frank?

I loved baseball. I played it and I still play it and I still draw and paint. So what the hell is the difference? They are two things I love to do. With baseball, I loved the competing; I loved the physical part of it. I could really let out—run like a wild man and swing that bat. Totally exhilarating! It almost beats sex—almost.

Well, when you hit a home run, I can see where it would.

Yeah. Absolutely the same thing. Total climax—my god, beautiful. It always bugs me when I hear some professional athlete stand around and say that he only does it for the money.

As for why I didn't sign up, I remember that going to another state seemed like going to the end of the world. They bus you back and forth and it was just one big disgusting hassle. So I said maybe next year…time went by and before you know it I'm too old. It was just my way of letting time go by.

Let's say, if you had a choice and if you could only do one, which would you choose?

Well, I've never had it put to me that way before. I must admit that the physical side is stronger.

I think you get the same satisfaction from that as you would from art.

I certainly do. And I get less tired. I am nowhere near as exhausted playing ball as I am when I paint.

(New post on Monday)