Rockwell's 'The Rookie' sells at auction for $22.5 million

Editor's note: This story was modified on Friday, May 23 to reflect that Sherman "Scottie" Safford modeled for 'The Rookie,' but was not a member of the Red Sox.'

Norman Rockwell's famed 1957 painting "The Rookie" fetched $22.5 million at auction in New York City on Thursday, according to National Public Radio.

The depiction of a Boston Red Sox recruit -- which former Pittsfield High graduate Sherman "Scottie" Safford posed for --arriving at spring training was sold by Christie's Auction House for a hammer price of $20 million -- or $22,565,000, including the buyer's premium charge.

The buyer's name was not disclosed.

Safford, who now lives in Rochester, N.Y., posed for Rockwell as did three Red Sox players at the artist's Stockbridge studio in 1956. He said he received two $60 checks for his work.

Pitcher Frank Sullivan, right fielder Jackie Jensen and catcher Sammy White were the other players who posed with Safford. Rockwell added second baseman Billy Goodman and Hall of Famer Ted Williams to the painting, which debuted on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on March 2, 1957.

The former owner, who remained anonymous, acquired it in 1986.

The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston exhibited the painting in 2005 and 2008.

To reach Phil Demers:
or (413) 281-2859.
On Twitter: @BE_PhilD


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions