If you don’t have one yet, here’s something to put at the top of your Christmas list. The United States Postal Service is offering a softbound book is filled with the vivid paintings of artist Graig Kreindler, whose extraordinarily detailed work captures our national pastime's biggest icons.
Entitled Play Ball!, the book was first published in July and comes with the latest baseball-centered stamps issued by the USPS. For collectors and fans of the game’s history, however, the book is the big attraction.
Forty pages in all, it features 12 reproductions of Kreindler’s striking images of baseball’s past. He usually works from famous photographs, putting color and an artist’s touch into famous black and white photos of Lou Gehrig’s farewell speech, Babe Ruth choosing a bat or Jackie Robinson sliding home during the World Series. Prolific despite his detailed work and still in his early 30s, Kreindler has created dozens of baseball paintings over the past several years. His work quickly gained a huge following and original works sell for thousands of dollars, but 8 ½” x 11” book is only $24.95. There is text as well.
Having his work featured in a publication distributed at thousands of post offices and via nationwide mail order is just the latest score for the New York-based artist, whose first works were profiled in these pages back in 2007. His agent put the deal together with the Postal Service earlier this year.
“It’s an absolute honor to be in the book,” he told Sports Collectors Daily. “The USPS has had a pretty rich history of incorporating fine art into their products, and when it came to baseball, the fact that they even considered me was just mind-blowing. I mean, it's just amazing to think that this is the same service that created those wonderful stamps for the inaugural year of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939 and now my work is a part of that same lineage.”
With it you’ll get these USPS stamps: Ten 2001 Legendary Playing Fields, two 2010 Negro Leagues Baseball and four from the 2012 Major League Baseball All-Stars series.