A Review of 'Golden Boys: Baseball Portraits, 1946-1960'

Christopher Benvie@CSBenvie81Correspondent IIAugust 13, 2012

Seldom does a book come around that can boast about being magnificently illustrated as well as historically captivating, let alone a book based on the Golden Age of baseball.

Fortunately for baseball fans young and old, such a book has been brought to fruition.

Golden Boys: Baseball Portraits, 1946-1960 is a wonderful work of art, both in the literal and subjective context. Published through Skyhorse Publishing (June 2012) in New York, New York, this book is beautifully illustrated by Andy Jurinko and written by Christopher Jennison.

Golden Boys offers the reader a brilliant collection of paintings with baseball history spilling out from every page.

The artist, Andy Jurinko, was passionate about two things in his life: drawing and baseball. Dating back to 1990, he began the journey of painting a collection of 600 baseball images, all of which leap off the pages in an effort to catch the players from the Golden Era of baseball during their daily lives playing in the greatest game.

Sadly, Jurinko passed away last year before seeing his work come to its published beauty.

The focus of Jurinko's brushwork encompassed players from his childhood years, the World War II era of baseball which also encapsulated a large expansion time in the game of baseball.

Teams went through huge transitions during this period, such as the Giants and Dodgers leaving the east coast for western skies.

Accompanied by the perfect scribe for the project, Christopher Jennison brings you through each story unfolding on the pages before you in a manner that is easy to read and full of fantastic memories.

Some of the material you'll uncover include fine portraits of the era's biggest stars: Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Robin Roberts, Hank Aaron and even Babe Ruth, to name just a small handful. 

Stories of baseball legend are brought roaring back and bring forth a nostalgic reverence for the game, how it was played and the ethics of those who played it.

For example, Stan Musial demanding a 20-percent pay cut after finishing a poor 1959 season. Today, that would never happen.

In general, this book was a fantastic historical journey through baseball history. The paintings are all vibrant and crisp, offering views of some old, familiar and some not-so-familiar faces from baseball's past.

There are wonderful images of old stadiums, some still standing while others have been replaced by newer, more modern facilities.

While the book never sets out to be a full-blown encyclopedia of the time, it comes across as though one completely unfamiliar with the time could pick it up and learn the essential talking points of the era.

With all that in mind, Gold Boys: Baseball Portraits 1946-1960 is a must-have for any fan of the game. It makes for a fantastic coffee-table book and will surely keep your attention through the entire journey.