To celebrate the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s Major League debut, Goldin Auctions, the official auction house of the Jackie Robinson Foundation (“JRF”), presents the widest selection of memorabilia ever featured in a single auction of Robinson-related material, Brooklyn Dodgers artifacts and from famed African American sports, entertainment and Civil Rights leaders.
The Goldin Auctions 70th Anniversary Jackie Robinson Auction is open from April 3 through April 29 at www.GoldinAuctions.com. Goldin Auctions will donate 10 percent of all sales to the JRF to help complete the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City.
The auction is loaded with 350-plus rare and unique lots, but it is five items from Robinson, Dr. Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali and President Barack Obama that have the collecting world abuzz. These marquee items include: Robinson’s 1955 World Series bat and his 1952 All-Star Game home run bat; Rev. King’s 1965 “We Shall Overcome Speech”; President Obama’s Acceptance Speech from the 2008 Democratic National Convention; and Ali’s robe from his epic 1964 fight with Sonny Liston.
“Our partnership with the Jackie Robinson Foundation is a great opportunity for us to help promote the legendary life of a true American hero,” said Ken Goldin, founder of Goldin Auctions. “It’s appropriate that the legacy and memorabilia from some of the greatest Civil Rights leaders and sports heroes will help the JRF complete the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City. We are honored to present these important items to collectors.”
Here’s a look at the five marquee items being offered:
The two most historic pieces of Robinson memorabilia being offered are Lot No. 1, his 1955 World Series game-used Louisville Slugger R115 model bat and Lot No. 5 the 1952 Hillerich & Bradsby S100 Model All-Star Game bat he used to hit his only career All-Star Game home run off Vic Raschi.
The 1995 World Series, bat, made especially for Robinson, includes the stamping “1955 WORLD SERIES” and “BROOKLYN DODGERS” under his faux signature. The authenticity of the bat has been verified through Louisville Slugger’s records corresponding to an order placed on Sept. 22, 1955. It comes with a full LOA from PSA/DNA (1B05573) and an LOA from Mears, who have graded this bat an A9. The All-Star Game bat is stamped “ALL STAR GAME PHILADELPHIA 1952” on the barrel and comes with a full LOA from PSA/DNA (1B07656), who has graded this bat a GU 9.
Lot No. 4 features Martin Luther King Jr.’s original 2-page typewritten “We Shall Overcome” speech that he first gave on July 6, 1965 to the General Synod of the United Church of Christ in Chicago. The 20-page type-written speech includes numerous hand-written notes throughout. Additionally, the final page is almost entirely hand-written by Dr. King, with the closing hand-written words “We Shall Overcome.”
The acceptance speech Barack Obama gave on August 28, 2008 at the Democratic Convention in Denver is Lot No. 2. The 54-page speech and binder were on the podium with the future President when he gave the speech and was most likely the version he used to rehearse the historic speech. Provenance comes in the form of a signed affidavit and related DNC access badges from Robin Hayden, a foreman with Production Resource Group (PRG) who helped build the stage/floor and podium. As he and his crew disassembled the stage, Hayden offered the three-ring binder to Secret Service agents, who stated that it wasn’t needed anymore and gave him permission to keep it.
Lot No. 3 is the robe Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) wore in his first title fight: a knockout of Sonny Liston on Feb. 25, 1964 in Miami. The white terrycloth robe is hooded with long sleeves. “The Greatest” and “THE-LIP” are embroidered in red on the back of the robe and includes a Muhammad Ali signature on the lower back of this robe in black marker. This signature comes with Letters of Authenticity from PSA/DNA (V13289) and JSA (Y73271) for the signature and an LOA from Craig R. Hamilton for use.
Some of the other historic items being offered include: hand-written letters from Dr. King and Malcolm X; a 1955-56 Robinson game used cap; a rare 1950 Dodgers team signed baseball including Branch Rickey; numerous Dodgers team signed baseballs; an autographed first edition copy of “Wait till Next Year – The Story of Jackie Robinson”; a very rare 1947 Robinson Day Ebbets Field ticket stub; more than a dozen game-used and signed bats from such greats as Pee Wee Reese, Willie Mays, Roy Campanella, and Hank Aaron; and more than a dozen lots of Ali memorabilia.