Ebbets Field is gone forever, save for the memories. But for those who never had the opportunity to visit or see what is perhaps baseball’s most venerable ballpark of old, Ebbets Field is once again brought to life in the form of this extraordinary scale model created by artist Steve Wolf. It would be impossible to fully communicate in words or even in pictures the true magnitude of this artistic work. It must be seen in person to be fully appreciated. Steve Wolf stadium models are designed to be astounding, and they are, indeed, literally a major attraction wherever displayed, be it a public venue as intended, a corporate venue, major league baseball museum, or as a centerpiece in a private museum or sports room. This may be Steve Wolf’s single most extraordinary work, and, simply put, it is one of the most incredible hand-made sports art works ever created.
The replica of Ebbets Field, which depicts the ballpark exactly as it was in 1955, recreates the stadium to the most exacting detail, and is complete with working light towers and interior lighting under both decks. Wolf, who is the foremost model-stadium builder in the country, spent over 1,800 hours in producing this model, which, as one can clearly see by the images shown here, is nothing short of miraculous. What is even more amazing is the fact that ninety-five percent of the materials used in its construction, including various woods, Plexiglas, copper, plastics, and virtually every other building material under the sun, were meticulously hand-cut by Wolf. In all, more than 50,000 pieces make up the stadium, including approximately 32,000 seats, all of which were meticulously put together by hand. While we could go on and on extolling the virtues of this piece and remarking upon how impressive it is when viewed in person, words are simply not enough and we urge bidders to visit Wolf’s website:
There, one can see many more photos of the piece, find additional information about the artist, and view other examples of his extraordinary work.
In addition, the following You-Tube video provides a tremendous visual representation and three-dimensional view:
While the aesthetic appeal of the piece speaks for itself, what struck us most was how exact the piece is, right down to even the most trivial details (the custom field surface even captures the mower-cut design of the time). Wolf related that he began the project by examining the original blueprints for the stadium, which he used as his basis for construction. He then examined literally hundreds of old photos of Ebbets Field, taken from every angle imaginable, inside and out, in order to faithfully recreate the ballpark. Even though Wolf has constructed models of sixteen other major league stadium through the years (the entire population of stadium models created over the past fifteen years is so modest due to the enormous amount of time required for construction), each new project poses new challenges. As he remarks on his website:
No two-ball parks are alike. A lot of research goes into building a stadium/ballpark model: the photographic history, back engineering to scale different sizes, LED technology, color, and deciding which materials will be used. There are the geometric shapes of the grand stands, the outfields, period wall ads, the different exterior facades with their unique windows and arch designs. Even the light towers take on their own architectural characteristics as well. They are all different.
This is only the second Ebbets Field model produced by Wolf; however, as he points out, this is the first Ebbets Field model he has built that faithfully captures the stadium as it was in the 1950s. His first Ebbets Field commission depicted the stadium as it was when it originally opened in 1913 and did not incorporate the many major renovations made to the stadium during the 1930s and 1940s, in particular the extension of the double-deck seating from the left field foul line throughout left field and angling across to the center field. This is Ebbets Field during the club’s glory years of the 1950s and the only one of its kind created by Wolf. Equally important is the fact that this particular model is the only one Wolf has ever produced on his own. All of his other projects have been by special commission (and we should note that Steve is already booked more than a year ahead). It should be further noted that the cost of such commissions when accepted are substantial and reflect both Wolf’s time and immense skill as well as materials. The waiting time for a commission is at the very least one year after “breaking ground.” This Ebbets Field model has actually been under construction for considerably longer as the detail and work involved has been greater than any other stadium project. While the price for each stadium is dependent upon many factors, Wolf’s starting commission price is usually not less than $50,000, and he told us that had this been a commissioned work, he would not have charged less than $75,000.
The base of the piece, which sits on a custom table (60.5 x 47.25 x 32 inches), measures nearly four feet by five feet (45 x 58 inches) and the model itself weighs approximately sixty pounds. A custom-designed glass top (half-inch in thickness; 55.5 x 43 x 18.5 inches), which weighs over 300 pounds, protects the piece. This model is currently located in the Midwest (where it can be viewed upon request!) and can be shipped anywhere in the continental United States. As an added bonus, the piece will be personally delivered by the artist, Steve Wolf, who will assist in helping the winning bidder set up the model and, if possible, help make any custom alterations to the table as well.
The 1955 Ebbets Field Model Recreation by Renowned Artist Steve Wolf appears as Lot 940 in the REA fall auction. The auction description appears above.
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