Baseball

‘Tough Call’ rendering hits home run in auction

This undated photo shows a rendering by Norman Rockwell of one of his best known paintings, “Tough Call.” The rendering sold for $1.6 million through an auction Sunday.
This undated photo shows a rendering by Norman Rockwell of one of his best known paintings, “Tough Call.” The rendering sold for $1.6 million through an auction Sunday. Heritage Auctions via The Associated Press

A rendering of a popular Norman Rockwell painting with a baseball theme has scored major league cash in an auction.

“Tough Call” – a 1948 painting which focuses on three umpires and has also been referred to as “Bottom of the Sixth,” “Game Called Because of Rain” or “The Three Umpires” – sold for $1.6 million Sunday.

The rendering was purchased through Heritage Auctions by an anonymous buyer in Dallas, The Associated Press reports.

The painting shows three umpires looking toward the sky as a light rain falls. In the background, a scoreboard shows the game is in the bottom of the sixth, with the Pittsburgh Pirates leading 1-0 over the Brooklyn Dodgers. Also seen is a conversation between what may be the managers for both clubs.

Considered to be one of Rockwell’s most famous baseball-themed works, the original painting hangs at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

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