Friday, January 08, 2016

To Wear Jackie Robinson's Cap


I've always been a bit envious of David Wells. 

Not because he was a Major League ballplayer - which is cool in its itself. 

I just always thought it would be fun to do what he did that one Friday summer evening in New York when he faced the Cleveland Indians in 1997.  For those who don't recall, the Yankee pitcher, who's an avid Yankee fan and collector, put on an real game-worn cap that once sat on the head of the great Babe Ruth during a game he pitched.  It happened on June 27th, and if I recall correctly he only wore it during the 1st inning.  BTW, he was pitching against Orel Hershiser that day.

Anyway, currently available at Goldin Auctions is said to be an actual game-worn cap of Jackie Robinson, and seeing it caused me to flashback to Wells moment. 

After all, how cool would it be to put this cap on and go to a game?  Sure, I can't exactly copy what Wells did (considering how non-athletic and how I'm a non-ballplayer), but I can do the next best thing. 

I can sit in the stands at Dodger Stadium - or, how 'bout Ebbets Field lookalike CitiField when the Dodgers are in town - with this cap on my head. 

I'm tellin' ya, it would be glorious.

Featured here is a 1949-50 Brooklyn Dodgers cap that has all the hallmarks of a classic.  It is described as once being worn by Jackie Robinson; although, the auction house doesn't provide the kind of provenance I'd like to see to verify its authenticity.  In fact, they don't mention how this cap came to their possession at all.  Instead, they had MEARS, a well known game uniform authentication firm, provide their opinion.  Per the auction description:
To the untrained eye most Brooklyn Dodgers caps look the same, however there are a few identifiers that MEARS used to date this cap to 1949-1950. The first is the Rawlings label. The Dodgers ordered Rawlings caps during the 1949-1951 seasons. MEARS was able to further narrow down the date of this cap due to the style of "B". The "B" on the cap is embroidered on a blue base which was then sewn onto the cap - this process was used on Brooklyn caps made by Rawlings only during the 1949-1950 seasons. The following year Rawlings changed the design of the "B" and embroidered the letter directly onto the cap. MEARS was able to authenticate the cap's use by Robinson through the application of his famous number "42" found under the brim. The ink was examined and determined to be worn and set into the fibers consistent with its age. MEARS also compared the number application with a 1949 -1950 cap worn by Wayne Belardi whose number is applied in the same fashion as this cap.
That's a lot of circumstantial evidence there.  Nevertheless, if I had the dough I'd make a run at it (at least to a certain value), and be happy with the thought that I've got Jackie's cap on my head.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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