Fantasy’s Baseball: Frank Frazetta

by Hilary Barta

He’d brutally batter his foes
And aim at their heads with his throws.
On top of the pile,
He’d savagely smile,
Then strike a familiar pose.

King of fantasy illustrators Frank Frazetta (1928-2010) was known for work on Conan the Barbarian and the covers of Molly Hatchet albums.  Most people don’t know he was also talented enough to attract attention as a baseball player. On the Frazetta Art Gallery web site, his baseball almost-career is discussed:

Through his teens, he continued drawing and painting, however he began to slack off due to his discovery of girls and baseball. In school he set several high school records, and eventually caught the attention of a scout for the New York Giants professional baseball team. Frank was offered a position on their farm squad with a good prospect of moving up to the major league within a season, but he turned them down. ” I was involved with a girl at the time,” Frazetta says a little sorrowfully. “And going down to Texas and sweating it out in the minors for a year didn’t seem very appealing. You have to remember that at that time athletes weren’t making the money they do today. They bussed you back and forth and it was just a big disgusting hassle. I remember that traveling to another state seemed like going to the end of the world, so I told them, maybe next year. Time went by and before I knew it I was too old. It was just my way of letting time make the decision for me. If I have any regrets it’s that I didn’t turn pro. If I was in my twenties and had it to do over – today, at today’s salaries – you better bet I’d do it.”

Posted 9/19/10

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