Spring Premier Auction 2015


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/26/2015
This is yet another striking companion piece to several other related lots from the Brooklyn Dodgers’ famed 1956 Tour of Japan, an even proven later to have added poignancy with the revelation that the club would abandon its Brooklyn roots following the 1957 season and relocate in Southern California. Early in 1956, the Dodgers were invited by Matsutaro Shoriki, the founder of the Yomiuri Shimbun and the “Father of Japanese professional baseball,” to make a trip to Japan following the regular season. The Dodgers’ legendary owner Walter O’Malley spent a good deal of time to ensure the key Dodgers players would make the trip before responding, and this amazing lot features the fruit of that effort, 71 individual contracts from the players (25), manager, coaches, front office executives, club attendants, even the umpire, plus around 30 wives, who all attended the trip. This important artifact parlays its historical significance with blazing single-signed documents from so many of the great names in Brooklyn Dodgers history.

Here then are the actual contracts from the “Dodger Family,” one-page documents with the player name at the top and a signature at the bottom along with the date; for many of the players the contracts are dated Aug. 22, 1956, and many of the wives’ contracts are dated in September or October of that year. The player contracts note that they will receive $3,000 and $500 equivalent in Japanese yen for expenses, with the $3,000 reduced by half if the wife accompanies. This results in spectacular single-signed documents from the likes of Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges, Don Drysdale, Billy Herman, manager Walt Alston, Ralph Branca, Carl Erskine, Jim Gilliam, Clem Labine, Don Newcombe and Don Zimmer. The HOF autograph roster expands with the inclusion of Walter O’Malley, legendary umpire Jocko Conlan, NL President Warren C. Giles and the 29-year old voice of the Dodgers, Vin Scully; adding to the luster are signatures from the wives, including Rachel Robinson and Beverley Snider, among others. Mix in a dozen or so club officials, including Al Campanis and famous bat boy Charlie "The Brow" DiGiovanna and you have an extraordinary window into the beloved Brooklyn ball club that would soon break hearts from Bensonhurst to Flatbush. All 71 contracts are individually housed in clear plastic sheets in a 3-ring binder, coming in essentially Ex-Mt to Nr-Mt condition. Players and coaches roster list attached.

Pre-certified by PSA/DNA.

This lot has a Reserve Price that has not been met.
Current Bidding (Reserve Not Met)
Minimum Bid: $5,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $17,126
Number Bids:11
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