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Lot 1: 1950 Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers Game Worn Jersey
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Auction Date:12/21/2012 9:00 PM EST
A very rare find and genuine piece of American history! The man who broke baseball's color barrier in 1947, Jackie Robinson, wore this all-original home jersey. This is the first time that this jersey has ever been offered publicly. The number of "all original" Jackie Robinson jerseys in private hands can be counted on a few fingers. This is one of the best examples on the planet. All original with "Dodgers" in blue felt on the front. Legendary retired number "42" in the same blue felt applied to the back. A.G. Spalding size 42 tagging in the collar along with "Dry Clean Only" tag. On the front tail is stitched "J Robinson 50." There are several small stains (blood?) on the front of the jersey but they do not detract, and actually add character. The use is great with vintage team repairs on both sides of the collar. There is one six-inch team repair used to fix a rip on the back, and one small, unrepaired hole on the right sleeve that looks as if it could be a spike mark. Robinson suffered the slings and arrows as the first African-American player in major league baseball. When Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey put his plan in place, he knew he needed a man of impeccable character and athleticism to carry the torch for minority players. Robinson was a four-sport athlete at UCLA, was highly intelligent and articulate and had played at a high level in the Negro Leagues. Those credentials made him the perfect man for the job. Despite death threats to him and his family, Robinson persevered and kept his temper in check, carving out a 10-year Hall of Fame career for the Dodgers. More importantly, it was his shining example that opened the door for all minority players in all major sports. In 1997, in a special ceremony at Shea Stadium on the 50th anniversary of Robinson's Dodgers debut, Major League Baseball universally retired Jackie's #42, allowing only the handful of players already wearing 42 to keep doing so. As of the 2012 season, only one player was still wearing the number - Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. Jackie Robinson has been dead for 40 years, but his legacy and foundation live on.
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