May 29, 2009
In honor of that most noble of American pastimes, a lovely painting inspired by a favourite photo of the great San Francisco character, Lefty O’Doul … otherwise known as Mr. Lefty not-yet-in-the-damn-Hall-of-Fame O’Doul.
But I digress.
If you’ve heard my podcast about Lefty, you’ll have guessed that this photo was taken on one of Lefty’s famous tours of Japan — a preoccupation which would eventually earn him a second nickname, “the Father of Japanese Baseballâ€.
As to the source of nickname number three, well — take a look at the painting! Thanks to his signature garment, Lefty was known throughout San Francisco as “the Man in the Green Suit”.
Chris Felix, 2009 — “Baseball’s Ambassador – The Man in the Green Suit”
San Francisco Public Library Historical Photograph Collection – 1935
I was tipped off about this painting by an inquiry (on behalf of Chris Felix) about the precise shade of Lefty’s infamous green suit, and the source of the photo on the Sparkletack website. Since I was only about three years old when Lefty passed, I wasn’t much help with the sartorial question — but the photo was found in the amazing online collection at the San Francisco Public Library.
A few weeks later, Lefty’s cousin Tom O’Doul dropped me a line letting me know that the painting was actually here in San Francisco. Thanks Tom!
It will be on display at the George Krevsky Gallery in Union Square until June 20th, 2009, as part of their 12th annual baseball exhibition.