The original consignor of this Brooklyn Dodgers relic first called our offices in 2010 to inform us that he had a cap that was once
worn by the great Jackie Robinson. He acquired it decades ago from
an old friend who had owned the treasured keepsake since he obtained it
himself in the seats behind the Dodgers dugout at Ebbets Field upon
Jackie Robinson removing it from his head and casting it into the crowd.
The cap was later bestowed upon our consignor, with this verbal
history, as a means to settle a debt incurred by his friend. As with
many such stories, they must be taken with a grain of salt, however,
when the cap arrived at our offices we were taken aback by its
compelling physical traits.
The professional model cap, unquestionably
manufactured for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the late 1940’s, features its
original Rawlings tag at the back of the well-worn leather interior
band. A number “42” is written in black marker under the bill, which has
turned brittle and cracked substantially. The cap's most distinguishing
feature is two “half moon” shaped hard shell inserts at the temples. The
inserts are sewn in with blue satin fabric and buffered by small
circular pads that can be felt inside.
It is well documented in
photographs (including one shown here) that Jackie Robinson wore custom caps
with these protective inserts during his tumultuous early seasons as
MLB's first African-American player. One specific
example with such inserts originated from Jackie’s widow Rachel
Robinson, who sold the cap to a prominent private collector. Other
players were known to wear such protective inserts as well during the
era, but this feature narrows the probability to a significant degree.
The cap is well worn and remains in original, unaltered condition.
letter of provenance is included from the initial consignor recounting the
aforementioned story that attributes this cap to Jackie Robinson.