A Brooklyn Dodgers jersey Jackie Robinson (1919-1972) wore during his world-changing 1947 rookie season could make more than $3m at Heritage Auctions.
Robinson was the first black player to join a major league baseball team, a key moment in American history.
Jackie Robinson was Major League Baseball's first black player
He was brought on to the team by president Branch Rickey, a devout Methodist and an early ally of the civil rights movement.
Rickey was also a shrewd businessman, who realised that providing a route from the Negro Leagues into MLB would allow him to take his pick of the best players.
Rickey offered Robinson the contract on one condition. That no matter what kind of abuse he suffered, he would not retaliate or react in any way.
That way no objection could be raised to his conduct, which could hamper the black players to follow.
Despite the huge pressures on him, Robinson’s performance that season was nothing short of exemplary.
The Dodgers clinched a spot in the World Series for the first time in several years.
Robinson was awarded the inaugural Rookie of the Year award. He was also celebrated with an official “Jackie Robinson Day” at Dodger Stadium in September 23, 1947 – an event Heritage refers to as “unquestionably, the greatest public celebration of a black man in American history to date”.
This was the very jersey he wore on that day.
In fact, it’s the only Robinson jersey to survive from that momentous year.
Goldin Auctions will offer Robinson’s original 1947 contract in a November 16 sale.
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