Friday, April 25, 2008

Heritage Auction: Jackie, A's and Ancient Balls

Heritage Galleries has an upcoming auction that includes a great Jackie Robinson artifact. After the 1956 season Jackie Robinson was traded to the hated Giants for cash and mediocre middle relief pitcher Dick Littlefield. Jackie refused to go. As the story goes, Jackie considered the Giants to be the enemy and joining them would be treasonous. The letter below, however, seems to refute that story.

Heritage is auctioning a January 14, 1957 letter written by Jackie Robinson officially announcing his retirement from Baseball to New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham. Within it, Jackie indicated no ill feelings towards the Giants. In fact, he compliments them.
Dear Mr. Stoneham:

After due consideration I have decided to request to be placed on the voluntary retired list as I am going to devote my full time to the business opportunities that have been presented.

My sincere thanks to you and to Mr. Feeney for your wonderful cooperation and understanding in this matter.

I assure you that my retirement has nothing to do with my trade to your organization. From all I have heard from people who have worked with you it would have been a pleasure to have been in your organization.

Again my thanks and continued success for you and the New York Giants.


(signed) Jackie Robinson

Auction Link: 1957 Jackie Robinson Signed Retirement Letter:

Also available is an incredible 1929 World Series Champion Philadelphia A's autographed photo album.
"All of this elite squad's legends are present and accounted for, with Foxx, Cochrane, Collins, Simmons, Grove and Connie Mack representing the Hall of Fame contingent. Other notables include the very tough Thomas Shibe, 1919 Black Sox manager Kid Gleason, Dykes, Earnshaw, Quinn, Walberg, Boley and more."
This is one of the greatest team in history. Below is the reverent Connie Mack.
Eddie Collins
1919 Chicago Black Sox manager Kid Gleason.
Auction Link: 1929 Philadelphia Athletics Team Signed Photographic Portrait Album:

Below is a circa 1870 lemon peel Baseball.
The infancy of our National Pastime is represented by this ancient homemade sphere used in the years immediately following our American Civil War. You'll first note the unique stitching pattern, quite different from the figure-eight model that has dominated the game for well over a century, and then the enormous heft of the ball despite the fact that the circumference is actually smaller than modern examples.
Imagine playing with something like this.
Auction Link: 1870 Lemon Peel Baseball:

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