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One of baseball's rare left-handed throwers and right-handed batters, Johnny Cooney parlayed his 20-year playing career into a total of four decades of baseball affiliation. As SABR biographer Ray Birch notes, "Cooney could boast that he was the only man to have played in both the National League and the American League, coached in both leagues, managed in both, and umpired in one. He conceded that the managing part was a technicality; he filled in for manager Billy Southworth with the Braves while Southworth was sick and for Al Lopez with the White Sox when Lopez attended his mother’s funeral."
Offered here is a V.T. Hamlin pen-and-ink illustration humorously depicting Cooney getting bonked on the head by the fishing rod of time-traveling caveman Alley Oop...and thus missing out on the big catch. Hamlin's jet-black "10" inscription reads, "To / My best ol' fishin' Pal, / John Cooney / Sincerely / Your friend and admirer / V.T. Hamlin." The 9-1/4" x 12-3/4" artwork exhibits VG/EX condition overall with scattered light foxing and peripheral wear that impinge little upon the central image and could largely be framed out for display. As an intriguing side note to this fishing scene, Hamlin's middle name was "Trout"! Auction LOA from JSA.
1960s "Alley Oop" Original Artwork by V.T. Hamlin - Presented to Johnny Cooney
Click above for larger image.