Baseball legend Jackie Robinson’s rookie 1947 photograph is up for sale at an auction. The image is from when the trailblazer made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the historic event when Robinson became first Black man to play in Major League Baseball.
Robinson broke the baseball color line when he started at first base for the Dodgers on April 15, 1947
New Jersey-based auctioneer Lelands has put the rare photo on the auction block. The auction, part of 2022 Fall Classic Auction, is set to take place Dec. 10.
The photo was used on the #37 collector’s card from the 1947 Bond Bread Hall of Fame set. This collector’s set includes 44 depictions of additional baseball legends, such as Ted Williams and Stan Musial. The Robinson card is the oldest of 13 items on the classic sports memorabilia and collectibles auction. It is reported that the card has the marking “Jack R.” written in blue ink on the back by an unknown person.
The photo of a 28-year-old Robinson is also in the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers’ Picture Pack.
Bids for the photo started at $5,000, but Lelands expects the card to fetch a high price by the auction’s end on Dec. 10.
“This photo is an iconic image of a trailblazing ball player and humanitarian. It is easily one of the top five original images of Jackie Robinson. We expect it could sell for six figures,” Lelands president Mike Heffner said in an email to Robb Report. The top bid as of this post was $18,330 from an anonymous buyer on Nov. 30. There have been 20 other private bidders who have been active since Nov. 20.
The other sports memorabilia on Leland’s 2022 Fall Classic Auction include a LeBron James Autograph rookie card a Tom Brady rookie card and a Mickey Mantle 1957-58 Yankees game-used batting helmet.
By the time Robinson ended his rookie season with the Dodgers, he had been named National League Rookie of the Year with 12 homers, a league-leading 29 steals, and a .297 average. In 1949, he was selected as the NL’s Most Valuable player of the Year. He also won the batting title with a .342 average that same year. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. Robinson died in 1972 at the age of 53.