Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Leroy Neiman Holds a Special Place in Sports History 5

Posted on June 23, 2012 by Dean Hybl

Leroy Neiman's style and persona were both one-of-a-kind.

It is one thing to artistically capture an event, person or a moment with the assistance of a camera, but it is a completely different endeavor to try and articulate a moment using a paint brush and canvas. Arguably, no one has ever quite captured great sports moments and athletes with the same flair and style as Leroy Neiman, who passed away earlier this week at the age of 91.

If you followed sports in the 1970s, it is likely you have instant visual recognition both of Neiman’s colorful paintings and of his flashy personal style including his one-of-a-kind mustache and flamboyant attire. In an era where colors and flash were in style, Neiman was a perfect fit.

The official painter for five Olympiads, a long-time contributor to Playboy magazine, if it was a big event during the 1970s, it is likely that Neiman was there with his paints, canvas and stogie. His one-site work provided instant permanency to events from Super Bowls to World Series to boxing matches. His appearance in Rocky II gave instant credibility to a fictional story. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

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      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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