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1956 Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers Game-Used Pants - Possibly the Pants He Wore During Don Larsen's Perfect Game!
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $26,663
Brooklyn Dodgers road pants worn by Jackie Robinson during the National League Championship season of 1956. Any Jackie Robinson game-used garments are exceedingly rare. We have seen only two Robinson jerseys at auction over the past ten years (a 1951 home example sold for $341,779 in 2007; the other, a 1950 home jersey, sold for $401,968 in 2012), and pants are equally scarce. Although we cannot recall the last time a pair of Jackie Robinson pants appeared at auction, we do note that the total number of surviving examples was dramatically reduced by the fact that both Upper Deck and Fleer each cut up a pair of Robinson pants for inclusion in one of their respective special "game-used" card issues in 2002. What makes the offered pants all the more significant is that they might be the very pants worn by Robinson during Game 5 of the 1956 World Series in which Don Larsen pitched his perfect game. That possibility exists based upon the generally accepted fact that players normally received two sets of home and road uniforms for the season. If that is so (and we believe it is), then there is a fifty-fifty chance that these pants were worn by Robinson in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series held at Yankee Stadium. Interestingly, the offered pants have a very distinct team repair on the left front leg. If a suitable photo of Robinson from Game 5 of the 1956 World Series can be found, it should allow one to easily confirm or refute the use of the offered pants in that historic game. (Obviously, our research has yet to discover such a photo.)
The grey flannel pants, with blue piping running down the side of each leg, feature Robinson's name and uniform number ("Robinson 42") chain-stitched in blue in the waistband. Also located in the waistband are a "MacGregor" label and a tag reading "Set 1 1956." The pants are completely original, with no alterations, and display moderate-to-heavy wear, including minor staining and a team-repaired tear on the left front leg. Their possible use in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series notwithstanding, these are undoubtedly one of the last pair of pants ever worn by Robinson during his career. Robinson retired from baseball a few weeks later when he accepted the job of vice president of Chock full 'O Nuts on December 10, 1956. Robinson's decision to work for Chock full O' Nuts, a fast-food chain, was based largely upon the fact that the company was one of the first to place an emphasis on minority hiring; three quarters of its workforce was black at the time. Robinson stayed with the company for eight years before leaving in 1964 to join the staff of New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. Collectors have always placed great emphasis on items relating to historic "firsts" and "lasts." These pants, obviously, fall into the latter category and offer a rare tangible representation of the end of one of the most remarkable and significant careers in all of sports history. LOA from Dave Bushing. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $26,663
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