Dodgers First Contract with Jackie Robinson up for Auction

American baseball player Jackie Robinson (1919 - 1972) grounds a ball at first place while warming up for an exhibition game against the New York Yankees, Ebbets Field, NYC, 1950s. (Photo by Hulton|Archive/Getty Images)
American baseball player Jackie Robinson (1919 - 1972) grounds a ball at first place while warming up for an exhibition game against the New York Yankees, Ebbets Field, NYC, 1950s. (Photo by Hulton|Archive/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Jackie Robinson‘s first major league contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers may well be one of the most important documents in baseball history. That contract is now heading up for auction in November.

There is no question that Jackie Robinson is the most important player in baseball history. When he made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, he shattered the color barrier that had segregated baseball for decades. He became the first black player since Fleet Walker and his brother Welday Walker in 1884, proving that black players were every bit as good as their white counterparts.

Robinson’s first major league season was not without controversy. His Dodgers teammates threatened to strike if he played, until the fiery Leo Durocher essentially browbeat them into playing. Then, there were the incidents with Phillies manager Ben Chapman, a noted racist who went out of his way to torment Robinson. Through it all, the Dodgers standout persevered, winning the Rookie of the Year and paving the way for other black players to head to the majors.

Given Robinson’s stature in the game, it is understandable that his memorabilia would be in high demand. That includes his first major league contract with the Dodgers, which is heading to the auction block in November.

More from Call to the Pen

Set to be auctioned off by Goldin Auctions, in tandem with the Jackie Robinson Foundation, this may be the only original contract in existence. Neither the Dodgers nor Major League Baseball have an original copy, making this document all the more valuable. As it stands, the contract, along with Robinson’s first contract with the Montreal Royals, are considered to be worth $36 Million.

Of course, this document is far more valuable than money would describe. Robinson’s legacy in baseball history is unquestioned. That first MLB contract, showing the Dodgers faith in the infielder, is an important piece of the history of the game. Chances are, it will fetch a record price come November.

Next: Ramirez having stellar season for Tribe

Jackie Robinson’s first major league contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers is coming up for auction. As one of the most important documents in the history of the game, it is truly priceless.