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1947 Brooklyn Dodgers (vs. Montreal) Historic Exhibition-Game Program with Jackie Robinson!
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $720
Just prior to the start of the 1947 season Branch Rickey scheduled a six-game exhibition series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Montreal Royals (the Dodgers' top farm club) at Ebbets Field. The reason for the exhibition series was apparent to everyone. Rickey was showcasing Royals first baseman Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn press, fans, and Dodgers players. The player support was most important to Rickey. He hoped that by seeing Robinson once again on the field during these games they would appreciate his ability and realize how much better the team would be with him on it. Robinson did his part in the games, batting .625 while causing his usual havoc on the base paths. Finally, during the fifth inning of the final game of the series, on April 10th, the Dodgers announced the purchase of Robinson's contract from Montreal, making him the first African-American player in major league history since Moses Fleetwood Walker in 1884.
Offered here is a program specially produced for those six exhibition games between the Dodgers and Royals held at Ebbets field in early April 1947. As was the custom at the time, the Dodgers used leftover 1946 programs for the games, but the interior scorecard section was specially printed for the exhibition series. The program is not scored, but Robinson is listed batting second and playing first base for the Royals. Interestingly, Al Campanis, who, in 1987 was fired as general manager of the Dodgers for making derogatory racial comments against African Americans, is listed in the lineup at third base for the Royals. It should be noted that this program was originally obtained from Dodgers catcher Bobby Bragan (his wife attended the game and purchased the scorecard) and our consignor is donating the entire proceeds from its sale in this auction to the Bobby Bragan Youth Foundation. The program (6.5 x 9.75 inches) displays a tine tear at the top of the front cover and is otherwise in Excellent to Mint condition. This is an extremely significant, early, and rare Dodgers program directly relating to Robinson's historic breaking of the color barrier in 1947. Reserve $300. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $720
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