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1947 Brooklyn Dodgers National League Champions Ring (Fresco Thompson)
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $10,575
Extremely rare and historically significant Brooklyn Dodgers National League Championship ring dating from the historic 1947 season. This ring was issued to Fresco Thompson, a former Major League second baseman who later served for thirty years (from 1939 to 1968) in the Dodgers organization, first as a scout and then as a front-office executive, where he finally ascended to the position of vice-president. The 14K gold ring features a single real diamond set within the center of a blue stone. "Brooklyn Baseball Club" is lettered in relief around the perimeter of the bezel. "Dodgers" is lettered in blue on each shank. Engraved on the interior band is the name "Fresco Thompson," the year, "1947," the weight, "14k," and the name of the manufacturer, "Murchison/Newark." This is an exceedingly rare Dodgers ring and the first we have ever handled. It is our understanding that very few of these rings were produced in 1947 and that they were only issued to the players and a select number of front-office personnel. Please note that this engraved and dated 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers ring should not be confused with similarly designed rings issued by the Dodgers organization to scouts and other personnel. The only other 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers National League Champions ring example that we can recall seeing at public auction was that issued to Leo Durocher, which sold for $19,500 in 2005. Player rings are naturally more desirable than those issued to front-office personnel, but Fresco Thompson was a particularly important Dodgers organization executive, and one of the few to receive this ring. His tenure with the Dodgers saw both Jackie Robinson's debut and the move from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, and the fact that this ring is from 1947 gives it a significance that transcends the world of ring collecting. 1947, of course, was one of the most historic years in baseball history. It was during that memorable season that Jackie Robinson broke baseball's long-standing Major League color barrier by signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers right before opening day. While the going was certainly tough for Robinson, he didn't let the firestorm surrounding him affect his play on the field. In one of the most courageous feats ever witnessed on the diamond, Robinson batted .297 with 12 home runs, 48 RBI, and a league-leading 29 stolen bases to help lead the Dodgers to their first pennant in six years. This ring is a tangible reminder of the sacrifices Robinson made that season in order that integration could succeed, not to mention the start of Brooklyn's "golden age" of baseball, which he helped to usher in. The ring displays modest wear and is in Near Mint condition. Accompanied by Fresco Thompson's 1964 biography Every Diamond Doesn't Sparkle (New York: David McKay Company, Inc., 1964) recounting his years in the front office of the Dodgers, which pictures him on the dust jacket and is ideal for display with the ring. Size: approximately 10.25. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+. SOLD FOR $10,575
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