Leading by Example
Artist Graig Kreindler Gives His Talent & Time
A busy dad to two school-aged boys, a husband, and one of the most widely known and respected names in the world of sports art, Graig Kreindler also recently became an unconventional donor to UnidosUS. Thanks to his love of baseball and history, his commitment to racial equity and justice, and his exceptional artistic talent, Graig undertook a philanthropic project to create a painting of the legendary Puerto Rican baseball player Roberto Clemente, with proceeds of its sale benefiting the Latino community.
Graig worked with his friend Al Crisafulli, founder and owner of Love of the Game Auctions, for close to two and a half years to move the project forward. “I asked a mutual friend of Al’s and mine, who collects [art featuring] Negro League and Latino players, if he knew of a respected charitable organization doing good for the Latino community. He recommended UnidosUS,” Graig explained, adding that Marcos Breton, sportswriter and author of Home is Everything: The Latino Baseball Story, concurred with the recommendation.
The Clemente portrait, which is titled “Proud as a Peacock” and depicts the player during a Pittsburgh Pirates playoff game in 1972, was auctioned for close to $60,000. “I’m glad it was so successful … and it’s going to such a good home. I’m overwhelmed by it,” Graig said, noting that this is the 50th anniversary of Clemente’s passing. He died in a plane crash on December 31, 1972, while trying to deliver relief supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
“I love Clemente … the way he played was gorgeous. I’d always had this image of the  photo in my head,” Graig said, adding that seeing the documentary The Tenth Inning made him realize how deeply important Clemente was to so many people.
Graig has been drawing ever since he can remember, at least since the age of three. He started out with his favorite 1980s cartoon characters. But he eventually became drawn to baseball and its history through his dad’s vintage baseball cards from the 1940s-50s, which were based on illustrations, not photography. According to Graig, “Something clicked and [I thought], maybe this is something I could do.”
“I’m incredibly thankful people like what I do and that I’m able to do what I do for a living. At the same time, I feel it’s important to give back, even though I’m not wealthy at all,” Graig explained, adding that putting art out to the world in support of a larger cause is how he is able to give back. According to Graig, “It’s an honor to do it.”
“We are so grateful for this unique partnership with Graig, Al, and Love of the Game Auctions. And we were just ecstatic when we found out that the winner of the bid was UnidosUS President’s Council donor Aida Alvarez! This support will have an immediate impact on our work as we continue to address the needs of Latinos rebuilding from the effects of the pandemic while also pursuing ambitious long-term goals like adding four million new Latino homeowners by 2030,” said Delia de la Vara, UnidosUS Senior Vice President, Advancement and External Affairs.