July/August 2021 Auction
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While the film "42" made every effort to chronicle the intense pressure laid upon the shoulders of Jackie Robinson, one can only imagine what living through that turmoil must have been like for this Hall of Famer. Breaking the color barrier in a sport that holds its history in such high regard, Robinson was seen as a pioneering hero bravely volunteering to stand for equal rights to some and an interloper destroying the fabric of American traditionalism to others. It's hard enough to carve out a Hall of Fame caliber career in the major leagues, but to be continuously met with hatred and death threats in many of the cities to which the Dodgers traveled, and even in Brooklyn at times, Robinson was expected not only to perform at the highest possible standard but to do so while having to take the abuse unconditionally with the hopes and future of his entire race resting on his ability to succeed. That's more than any person should have to endure, but Jackie Robinson defied the odds and forever changed the landscape of American history. Robinson's first appearance on a baseball card came in the crude but desirable 1948 Leaf series. Perhaps the inclusion of past heroes like Honus Wagner and Babe Ruth was meant to soften the blow for collectors who thumbed their nose at the issues of Robinson and fellow Negro League star Satchel Paige, but fast-forwarding to today's market, the fact that the Robinson and Paige cards are the two most valuable in the series is a tribute to Jackie's success in modifying American history. The 1947 Rookie of the Year, Robinson would prove to be an exceptional talent by batting .297 with 12 homers and a league-leading 23 stolen bases, earning him 5th place in the NL MVP voting. The featured card is a true rarity, a PSA 7 graded Jackie Robinson rookie card that has retained virtually all of its glowing yellow backdrop and bright white border coloring. Centered mildly toward the bottom edge but more accurate than the large majority of cards from this series, the endpoints boast solid NM form while the well-printed reverse meets or exceeds all expectations for the grade. As is almost always the case for this series, specifically the cards that contain a yellow background, there is some stray print that in no way diminishes either the marvelously well-registered image of Robinson nor detracts from the incredible magnitude and importance that the card represents. A true masterpiece that provides heart and soul for any advanced collection.
1948 Leaf #79 Jackie Robinson PSA 7 NM
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