Simply while you assume you’ve seen each baseball card hit the market, one thing pops up out of the woodwork that modifications the trajectory of the passion’s historical past. A type of playing cards was revealed not too long ago when a really obscure Jackie Robinson card reached the public sale ground because of Hake’s Auctions.
The cardboard emanates from Our Sports journal, a short-lived periodical for the African American group within the Fifties. For its first concern, the journal marketed the Robinson card as a part of a particular promotion for many who signed up for a yearlong subscription to the publication. The cardboard incorporates a sepia-toned image of the Brooklyn Dodgers athlete—the identical picture used for his 1953 Topps card that 12 months—and his autograph on the reverse.
This particular card up for public sale was redeemed by Tom Reekie, whose title seems on the reverse aspect. The redemption asserted Mr. Reekie as a “sports activities authority” by Our Sports activities. Sadly, the marking additionally negatively impacted the cardboard’s grade, as defined by Vice President Andy Broome of CGC Playing cards, the corporate Hake’s selected to offer the evaluation.
“Writing on a card, whether or not the cardboard was meant to be written on or not, does have an effect on the grade of the cardboard,” Broome advised WorthPoint in an unique interview. “Within the case of this specific card, the writing was the worst defect so far as the grading is worried.”
Precise manufacturing numbers for the playing cards don’t exist, however when a card surfaces with passion leaders for the primary time in its seventy-year existence, it’s protected to say that it’s among the many rarest in baseball card historical past.
Our Sports activities journal ran for 5 points, with Robinson because the publication’s editor. Robinson additionally contributed articles to the journal, including a testimonial about his Dodgers supervisor, Leo Durocher.
What It’s Price
At any time when one sells a little-known collectible, it’s onerous to assign an asking value at public sale. Thus, you’re more likely to play it protected and go low. That is the tactic Hake’s wanted to absorb its Robinson itemizing.
“It was onerous to assign a worth vary to an merchandise that has by no means bought,” Hake’s President Alex Winter stated in an unique interview with WorthPoint. “I felt we had been conservative and had an excellent feeling that it might go over $10K. It was nice to supply such a uncommon merchandise and see all of the constructive response and pleasure it generated.”
The outcome was a $14,276.70 profitable value (purchaser’s premium included) after seventeen bids.
Whereas the baseball card exceeded expectations, it didn’t attain the mark that the amassing group has seen lately for different uncommon playing cards just like the T206 Honus Wagner or the 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle.
“Within the grand scheme of sports activities collectibles, the worth it introduced was not earth-shattering in comparison with the seven and eight-figure gadgets that occur on this world, however one can’t deny how uncommon and traditionally essential this merchandise is, particularly because it ties to the African American sports activities publication that Jackie was instantly concerned with.”
The Jackie Robinson Pastime Story
Jackie Robinson is without doubt one of the most iconic baseball gamers in historical past. There’s no disputing that reality.
The primary participant of coloration to ever don a jersey in Main League Baseball broke a barrier that gave African American kids and adults alike a sense that at some point they might take the sphere in essentially the most prestigious ballparks throughout the nation.
However in fact, Robinson didn’t simply break the barrier—he smashed it to smithereens.
Whereas battling racism off the sphere, Robinson emerged as one of many sport’s largest superstars. After profitable Rookie of the Yr honors in 1947, Robinson captured the Nationwide League’s MVP honor in 1949, kicking off a six-year string of being an All-Star. He additionally led the Brooklyn Dodgers to the World Sequence in 1955. One 12 months later, his profession was full.
Robinson was additionally an avid civil rights chief. Alongside along with his function in Our Sports activities, Robinson campaigned alongside politicians like John F. Kennedy, who supported civil rights for African People whereas vehemently opposing those that stood towards the motion.
And but, for all he achieved, Robinson stands behind different baseball superstars in passion recognition. As seen within the WorthPoint Worth Information, only a couple of Robinson’s artifacts have exceeded the $1 million plateau, whereas his 1949 Bowman rookie card has topped out at simply over the $500,000 mark.
Make no mistake—these are robust costs. However are they as lofty as they need to be, given Robinson’s place in historical past?
“For his contributions to the sport and to the civil rights motion, as revered as Jackie is, it’s not sufficient,” Winter feedback. “He’s actually a legend in some ways and one can’t converse his title sufficient.”
So, now that the rarest Jackie Robinson card has bought, what’s subsequent for memorabilia of these much less acknowledged within the passion? Will a Maurice Richard card enter the passion? How about an obscure George Mikan card?
Sadly, neither situation is all that more likely to happen any time quickly, although it does occur.
“On common, we see a brand new card discovery each few years,” Broome mirrored. “The best factor for me is that a lot of the new card discoveries occur from outdoors of the passion. Among the coolest tales have come from non-card individuals discovering cigarette playing cards a relative way back tucked away in a field within the attic or a Babe Ruth rookie stuffed within a piano.”
Jon Waldman is a Winnipeg-based author. He has written for Beckett, Go GTS, Canadian Sports activities Collector, and a number of other different passion retailers over his 20 years within the passion. His expertise additionally consists of two books on sports activities playing cards and memorabilia. Join with Jon on Twitter at @jonwaldman.
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