A Visit to Sports Immortals

Last week I was finally able to visit the Sports Immortals museum in Boca Raton, FL. Joel Platt has collected over a million items of memorabilia from the various major American Sports (read don’t expect to see a lot of soccer and cricket stuff). Do expect to see championship belts won by Joe Louis and John L. Sullivan, the most expensive baseball card, Jim Thorpe’s football helmet, and a plethora of other items squeezed into a small space. Platt has embarked upon a campaign to raise $100M to build the ultimate sports museum. To that end Platt is putting together a traveling exhibit to tour the country and raise seed money to get the fundraising started in earnest. A much larger facility is needed. Mayor Reed of Harrisburg would surely love to have the Sports Immortals for the All-Sports Museum he wants to build on City Island near the Senator’s field. However, the price tag for Platt’s collection would have to be out of Reed’s reach. Considered by many to be the most complete sports memorabilia collection to have ever been put together, only the federal government would have the resources to both acquire the collection and build a worthy building in which to house it. Until the Smithsonian decides to do something, Joel will keep following his dream. Of particular interest to me was a painting of old Pittsburgh that Lone Star Dietz painted in 1951. Below is a photo of Joel Platt holding that painting. Dietz entered the painting in the Advertising Artists of Pittsburgh Annual Show and won third prize. Lone Star lived in Pittsburgh after WWII and operated the Liberty Academy on Liberty Avenue. “Pittsburgh Just Grew” was done in a style different from others I have seen in Dietz’s work. The colors in this painting still jump off the canvas over 50 years later.

Pittsburgh Just Grew

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