Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A $1 Million Jackie Robinson Jersey

I'm astounded by the recent sale values of vintage memorabilia. A Babe Ruth game jersey can sell for millions. The original rules for basketball written by James Naismith himself sold for over $4 million a few years ago. The owner of the Montreal Royals and Brooklyn Dodgers first-year contracts of Jack Robinson are expecting millions when it finally comes to bid. Above is another million dollar Robinson item that is currently available at Heritage. (auction link) Featured is Jackie Robinson's rookie jersey from the 1947 season. It is already valued at $1,250,000 with nine total bids and just five days to go.  Best yet, it comes with a letter of provenance from Mrs. Rachel Robinson:

"To Whom It May Concern: This 1947 home uniform was brought home by my husband Jackie Robinson at the end of his first major league season. You can see Jackie wearing this uniform during the Jackie Robinson Day Ceremony at Ebbets Field in 1947. A photo of him wearing the uniform can be seen in the Most Valuable 1949 Player Series Jackie Robinson Book. The jersey has been in the Robinson Family Archives since the end of the 1947 World Series."
You can see a pic from Jackie Robinson Day Ceremony at Ebbets Field below.

Better yet, the written description of this jersey by Heritage Auctions is absolutely fantastic, and it's worth your time to read the whole thing. Of all the auction houses I follow Heritage is unquestionably the best at setting the stage for the historical importance of any piece they sell. Check out what I mean below:
It has been the subject of religion that has drawn the greatest volume of blood throughout the larger history of the western world. But in the United States it has unquestionably been the matter of race, most painfully in the Civil War that nearly fractured our Union only a half century before Robinson was born into the portion bent upon subjugation. The sharecropper's cabin in Cairo, Georgia where he came into the world in 1919 would have looked entirely familiar to his forebears shackled by slavery, but if toil and struggle had remained a constant in the Robinson family, young Jackie found himself the beneficiary of the one thing those earlier generations never had. 
Today you cannot see the number "42" without feeling that energy of the purest possibility. Whether one encounters it on a house or a license plate, the digits confer a dignity of inverse proportion to what their original intention had been when first worn by Robinson. Check the historical record-the Dodgers had used the number only once before, for a subpar right-hander named George Jeffcoat who limped back to Brooklyn to pitch two innings in 1939 after going six-and-nine for the 1936 and 1937 editions. It was a "throw-away" number, a cut-rate signifier, the exact opposite of the single-digits issued to Pee Wee and the Duke. 
Fifty years later, the baseball world determined that there is no man worthy of "42" anymore. It's quite a redefinition.

On a side note, I will absolutely go crazy if this uniform is bought by some card manufacturer to cut up and put into cards. That would be a travesty.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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