Jackie Robinson's rookie season bat could realise $300,000

A bat Jackie Robinson used in his 1947 rookie season is valued in excess of $300,000 at Heritage Auctions.

Robinson was called up to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, becoming the first black player in the major leagues.

Robinson rookie bat
Jackie Robinson was the first black player in major league baseball

As well as being an icon of the civil rights movement, he was also a phenomenal player.

His combination of speed and raw power fundamentally altered how the game was played.

This is the only documented bat from his rookie season and is described by Heritage as "one of the most important bats in the hobby".

The original owner of the bat, a Margaret Payne, explained in a letter dated 1992: "I was known by the players and team personnel as I and my friends used to stand by the player runway under the stands and give the players tootsie-roll lollipops before the game.

"At one of the games, I saw Jackie Robinson crack this bat during his turn at bat. Immediately after this game, I ran down to the player's runway, contacted the Dodger batboy, and asked him for the cracked bat."

Robinson's status as both the breaker of baseball's colour barrier and one of the game's greatest players means his memorabilia is in high demand.

A glove he used in his final season (1955-1956) sold for $373,000 in a 2013 auction.

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