A specially made cap that was worn by Jackie Robinson in the 1947-48 period sold for a whopping $590,994 (including buyer’s premium) in a recently concluded online auction hosted by Lelands.
In a letter that was also part of the auction, Robinson’s wife, Rachel, stated, “the cap has three protective plates sewn inside the lining to protect his head from beanings.” Some opposing pitchers threw at Robinson’s head after he broke the color barrier in baseball.
Also included in the auction were three pictures of Robinson “wearing the identical cap as evidenced by the liner, stitching and “B” on the front, worn in 1947 and also carried over to 1948.
The cap contains a white leather band on the inside with a Spaulding tag. The auction lot description stated the only flaw is a small tear on the front of the bill on the cap.
The cap received 24 bids before the auction ended.
Another highly sought after item in the Lelands auction was Robinson’s final Brooklyn Dodgers jacket, which received seven bids and sold for $159,441.
According to the auction lot description, the jacket was gifted to the consignor’s godfather in December 1956, who lived in the same apartment building in Brooklyn. Shortly before Robinson gifted the jacket, a relative of the consignors godfather was involved in a fatal car crash.
Along with the jacket, a letter from Robinson on his stationery was also included in the auction. The letter stated, “I was very sorry to hear of your loss and the injuries you suffered. To console you with words I realize would be quite futile. I only hope that as you improve each day you will get added strength to be a comfort to your mother.”
Robinson concluded the letter, “I also hope you will be able to fit into my jacket very soon. My very best.”
The signature on the letter is secretarial, but Robinson hand-wrote his address on the back of the envelope.
The top selling non-Jackie Robinson item in the auction was a 1945 Mel Ott New York Giants game worn jersey (MEARS 8.5). The auction description states it is possible Ott wore the jersey when he hit his 500th home run.
The bat Pete Rose used to break Ty Cobb’s all-time hits record received nine bids and sold for $257,231.
For complete auction results, visit www.lelands.com.