Tuesday, January 14, 2020

I Just Got My Jackie Robinson Grail -- And It's Not a Baseball Card

I finally pulled the trigger on this one.

For years... No, two decades.... I've been wanting to added this specialty item to my collection, but rarely saw it for sale. As you can see, it is not a Baseball card, but it does include a version of Jackie Robinson's 1948 Leaf rookie card on it.

Featured is a leather Letterman-styled jacket originally released by the Donruss company in 1997 to honor MLB's retirement of Jackie Robinson's number (#42) throughout the league.

In fact, Donruss went all out that year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's breaking the color barrier -- even centering their entire marketing campaign on the fact that Leaf (a company Donruss owned) was the first card company to make a card for him. Their slogan was:
They say every picture tells a story. Ours told it first (see magazine ad on the right).
(1997 FanFest Robinson Promo)
In addition to the jacket they released a special edition promo card for the All-Star FanFest that season (see on left), had a contest to give away a 1948 Leaf Jackie Robinson rookie card, and issued limited edition lithographs.

As for the Letterman jacket, it is very limited. Donruss created only 311 of them  - this number correlates to Robinson's career batting average of .311. My jacket is #155 of #311.

I don't recall what these jackets sold for originally, but I am certain it was for far more than what I paid. This jacket cost me about $135, delivered.

This price took a bit of negotiating. I had previously made an offer on eBay before Christmas at $90 (it had a eBay price of $150 on it), and was subsequently countered at about $130, plus shipping. So, I decided to roll the dice (in hopes nobody would buy it), and waiting til after New Years to chase it again. That time came last week, so I redid my offer of $90 and was countered the next day at $105, plus shipping.

Needless to say, I took the deal and now I'm the happiest Dodger fan in the world. Heck, this jacket might be my favorite Dodger item I own.

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

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