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Autographed 1941 College Football All-American Team Photo Including Jackie Robinson
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $5,333
Spectacular large-format (17.5 x 10.5 inches) display photo capturing the seventy-two members of the 1941 collegiate "All Star Football Squad" posing together, signed by all but six of the pictured individuals on or near their respective images, including Jackie Robinson of UCLA. This is an extremely significant item dating from Jackie Robinson's earliest days as a star athlete on an integrated team. We do not recall ever seeing another example of this extraordinary museum-caliber signed display piece. Robinson's blue fountain-pen signature is light, but legible, and grades "4." Other signers include Tom Harmon, George Franck, and Ted Pavelec. The signatures range from "1" to "6," averaging "3/4." The photographer's credit, "Burke & Koretke," appears in the lower right corner. Captioned "All Star Football Squad - 1941" in white lettering along the base.
As one can plainly see here, Robinson was the only African American player on the All Star Squad that year. In fact, he was one of only a few African-American collegiate football players in the entire country at the time. The UCLA Bruins were actually the nation's most integrated college football team in 1941, with a total of four African American players on its roster. Robinson was the first player to letter in four varsity sports at UCLA, starring on the football, basketball, track, and baseball teams. Surprisingly, baseball was considered his worst sport during college. Very few Jackie Robinson signed items predate his professional baseball career, and this photo undoubtedly represents one of the earliest Robinson signature examples extant. All of the players pictured here took part in an exhibition game against the World Champion Chicago Bears in front of 98,200 fans at Chicago's Soldier Field on August 28, 1941. The Bears easily defeated their college rivals that day by a score of 37-13, but one of the game's highlights was a 46-yard touchdown reception by Robinson in the fourth quarter. This is an extraordinarily historic and significant early Jackie Robinson signed photo and, as noted, the first example we have ever seen, let alone offered. The photo displays a number of very light surface wrinkles throughout, but nearly all are only visible when viewed at certain angles and do not detract in the least from its overall Excellent appearance. Matted and framed to total dimensions of 27 x 19.5 inches. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $5,333
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