Orel Hershiser Buys Jackie Robinson Painting To Keep At Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

As the Los Angeles Dodgers and all of MLB celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, Orel Hershiser commemorated the April 15 date by becoming the proud owner of 10 pieces by world-renowned sports artist Dave Hobrecht.

Among the artwork Hershiser purchased is a “Grace” painting that features Robinson praying around a dinner table with Roy Campanella, Don Newcombe and Martin Luther King Jr.

Hobrecht’s famous Robinson painting has been on display at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., and while Hershiser became the new owner, the cherished art piece is going to remain where it’s been.

“I’ve told Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick that this piece of art belongs right where it is,” Hershiser said.

“I’m honored to be its owner. It marks a very important historical time, and it is important to keep this piece where people can learn about this moment. My goal is to enhance all sports fans experiences; whether it be in Legends’ Attic, a museum or a ballpark.”

Upon learning that “Grace” had been sold, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick was “so happy” to learn the new owner is Hershiser.

“After hearing Orel’s passion for us and ‘Grace,’ we agreed it was in the perfect place! Grace is a powerful and important piece that helps convey the Negro League’s importance in helping advance civil rights in this country,” Kendrick added.

Hobrecht donated the Robinson art for display at the museum in 2020, but the wooden canvas was damaged during shipment, resulting in a crack that detached the bottom portion of the image from the rest.

Hobrecht and Kendrick decided to reframe it but otherwise keep the art in that condition.

“Not having a breakable spirit — that’s Jackie Robinson,” Kendrick explained. “The painting is broken, but you won’t break our spirit. So we decided to unveil it with the damage and that it would be a metaphor that beautifully captures what Jackie was all about.”

Hobrecht published “The All-Time Dodgers Art Book” in collaboration with former Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti. The original “Grace” painting was a result of conversations Colletti had with Newcombe.

Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson Day celebration

Manager Dave Roberts led the Dodgers to the Jackie Robinson statue at Dodger Stadium, where they were accompanied by the Washington Nationals. Roberts, Nationals manager Dave Martinez, Reggie Smith and civil rights activist, educator and author Dr. Harry Edwards addressed both teams.

Roberts began the Dodgers’ tradition of visiting the statue on Jackie Robinson Day in 2021.

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