Summer Premier Auction 2020

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/28/2020

New York has long been the capital of the baseball world, with the Yankees and Giants combining for 22 World Series titles from 1903 to ‘54. During that time, Brooklyn Dodgers fans could only stand and watch the victory parades roll by, comforted solely by the thought of the ole wait ‘til next year. In 1955, however, with twilight encroaching on the epic career of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, next year finally arrived. The Dodgers went 98-55 to easily capture the NL pennant before finally beating the Yanks to claim their first championship in franchise history.

Entering the ’55 season at age 36, Jackie had racked up just about every major individual award: Rookie of the Year (1947), MVP (1949) and Batting Champ (1949 as well as six All-Star selections. Everything but the elusive feeling of winning it all. In his only victorious Fall Classic, Robinson scores five runs, highlighted by his iconic steal of home in Game One, a moment frozen in time that still resonates 65 years later. It was only fitting that the courageous pioneer, whose arrival eight years earlier put an end to decades of segregation across the pro sports landscape, would be the key catalyst in bringing ‘Dem Bums their long-awaited title.

Presented here is “the only known documented Jackie Robinson game used bat from the Brooklyn Dodgers World Championship 1955 season,” according to PSA/DNA’s expert bat authenticator John Taube. What’s more, it’s the only autographed Jackie gamer, period. Other prestigious Jackie bats have surfaced such as a 1947 rookie gamer that sold for $478,000 in 2016. Taube has certified three Jackie bats from the 1955-56 period; however, based on specs, late order dates, level of usage and provenance, a firm 1955 season declaration cannot be made to any of those. Thus, we have no reservations calling this The Finest Overall Jackie Game Used Bat Extant.

The Hillerich & Bradsby R115 pro model, with a July 18 order date confirmed by Taube, is un-cracked with a tremendous amount of game use. The 34¼-inch, 34-oz. ash bat contains heavy ball marks and deep stitch impressions on the barrel, blue-green streaks from Ebbets Field bat racks, and a light coat of pine tar. Taube notes that 1955 was the only season Robinson ordered R115 models measuring 34½ inches. Jackie shortened the barrel end by a quarter inch to increase his bat speed, a common player modification back then that is no longer allowed (replaced by “cupped end” designs in 1972).

Jackie’s ever-important autograph in lovely 8/10 blue ballpoint appears on the back barrel. It would stand out more if not for such heavy use. A letter of provenance from notable collector, Paul Hill, states this bat was given to him by Jackie and signed in person at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia during the summer of 1955. Includes two LOA’s from PSA/DNA: one from Taube for the game use (1B02989) with a perfect GU 10 grade; and another for the autograph (B56902).

Taube’s letter goes on to claim, “Judging by the amount of use present and the attention given to the bat, evidenced by the barrel modification, it is clear this was one of Robinson’s preferred game bats. When you add the bat’s impeccable provenance and the pristine autograph, it is safe to say this is the foremost Jackie Robinson known. The bat is not only a museum quality relic, but also a part of American history.”

This lot has a Reserve Price that has not been met.
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Current Bidding (Reserve Not Met)
Minimum Bid: $50,000
Final prices include buyers premium.:
Number Bids: 21
Auction closed on Friday, August 28, 2020.
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