Thursday, November 07, 2013

Vintage Jackie Robinson and Some Negro League Photos at Hake's

Hake's Auctions does it again.  Over the past several years they have had some incredible Negro League photos available for sale.  As a fan with a voracious appetite for this league, I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing them. They provide an historic snapshot of some long forgotten players. 

As you may know, most of them come from the Richard Merkin Collection; who was a very active collector of everything Negro Leagues related.  Others have come from the Cesar S. Lopez collection, creator of

The below 1947 photo of Jackie Robinson comes from the Lopez Collection.  It features Jackie with Cuban Sports Director Genaro Suarez Rocabruna during Spring Training in Cuba.  As a way of hiding his true intentions of bringing Jackie up to Brooklyn, the Dodgers trained on the island to keep their plans secret.  Jackie trained with the minor league squad, but Branch Rickey kept a watchful eye.  Eventually, they made the historic announcement to the supposed surprise of Baseball.
(auction link)

This next photo comes from the Richard Merkin Collection.  The next photo is of Hall of Famer Oscar Charleston and Fats Jenkins and dates to 1925.  Charleston is on the right.  Per the auction description:
Both men played for this Eastern Colored League team from 1924-1927. Clarence Reginald "Fats" Jenkins played both baseball and basketball. In his more than 20 years in the Negro Leagues, his baseball teams included the New York Lincoln Giants, New York Black Yankees and Pittsburgh Crawfords. His basketball teams included Cum Posey's Loendi Big Five based in Pittsburgh, and the New York Renaissance, the last of the Colored World Champions in 1925. Oscar was one of the greatest legends of the Negro Leagues. A multi-talented star, he was renowned by those who saw him play as the finest all-around player in Negro League history and was dubbed the "Black Ty Cobb" by sports writers.
(auction link)

These next group of photos are glass plate negatives of the Royal Poinciana Hotel Baseball Club.  Per the auction description:
During the first two decades of the 20th Century, the Royal Poinciana Hotel Baseball Club included many notable Negro League baseball greats brought to Florida during the winter to play after the Negro League season was over. We believe these slides date to 1912-1913 and includes players from the Brooklyn Royal Giants including Jap Payne, Walter Ball, Pearl Webster, Frank Wickware, Sam Crawford, Frank Earle and Bill Handy. This is evidenced by two players who are shown in their Giants uniforms while the rest of the team wears their Royal Poinciana uniforms.
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