Fall Premier Auction 2013
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on:
This large format team signed photo depicts the ground breaking 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers on their first day of Spring Training, ready to embark on arguably the most challenging and historically important season endured by any team in Major League history.
Leo Durocher stands before his assembled charges at the opening of the Brooklyn Dodgers spring training camp in Havana Cuba in 1947, a seminal moment in Major League Baseball history as it marked the beginning of the end for the infamous color line. Jackie Robinson, who signed this extremely rare team-style photo, ironically is not in the picture, still listed on the roster of the Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate in Montreal. Just as the decision to take the Dodgers to Cuba for spring training that historic year was made in an attempt to avoid the difficulties connected with a black man playing in the Deep South, Dodgers President and GM Branch Rickey likely maneuvered to control and temper events surrounding Robinson's first appearance on the major league roster.
The 14-by-11-inch photograph is a stunning artifact in terms of the players represented, 35 of whom penned their signatures on the top 1/2 of the photograph. Robinson's fine autograph is the 29th from the left, joining a grouping that includes Hall of Famers Durocher and Arky Vaughan, as well as Hugh Casey, Gil Hodges, Rex Barney, Fenchy Bordagary, Cookie Lavagetto, Preacher Roe, Clyde King, Clyde Sukeforth, Jake Pitler, Tommy Brown, Joe Hatten, Spider Jorgensen, Don Lund, Marv Rackley, Jack Banta, Phil Haugstad, Erv Palica, Willard Ramsdell, Dick Whitman, Chris Van Cuyk, John Van Cuyk, Ed Heusser, Paul Minner, Bob Ramazotti, Ken Olson, Ray Blades, Ray Sanderson, Charlie Thompson, 2 unidentified, and Eddie Chandler, that last name being the original owner of the rare photograph. Chandler, who appeared in 15 games for the Dodgers in 1947, his only tenure in the big-leagues; presumably added in Chandler's hand is a notation in the lower right-hand corner: "To Steve, 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers - 1st day of spring training. Eddie Chandler." In addition, someone has circled Chandlers image near the center of the group. The photograph is in highly presentable condition, hampered only by a crease that runs the vertical length of the photo on the right side and several other smaller creases or folds that are confined largely to the upper area that showcases the autograph.
Comes with a Full Letter of Authenticity from PSA/DNA.