This Lot Was Recently Showcased in a FORBES Article by David Seideman
So much more than a baseball cap, this rates as one of the most profound pieces of sports history that has ever been offered for public sale. Dating before the usage of batting helmets, Jackie Robinson wore this specially-made hat in the 1947-48 period. Per an included letter from his wife Rachel, “the cap has three protective plates sewn inside the lining to protect his head from beanings,” as opposing pitchers sometimes threw at the young star’s head in the aftermath of the color barrier being broken. As such this cap is representative of both baseball and the race issue, highlighting the tensions of the period. Also included are three pictures of Jackie wearing this identical cap as evidenced by the liner, stitching and “B” on the front, worn in 1947 and also carried over to 1948. It has a white leather band inside with Spalding tag, shows great use and its only flaw is a small tear on the front of the bill. Despite the tumultuous setting, Robinson won Rookie of the Year in the ‘47 season, batting .297 with 12 homers and 29 stolen bases, and just two years later he was the National League’s Most Valuable Player. But the moment he walked out on that field in Ebbets Field and crossed the foul line he transformed it into the color line. In that moment he became an immortal that transcends the game unlike any other athlete in history. One of the true Holy Grails of the sports collecting hobby has had only two owners since the Robinson Family.