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1947 Jackie Robinson Oversized Ebbetts Field Display Photo
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $2,115
Many Yankee Stadium large display photos of this style, that once decorated the halls of that legendary stadium, were salvaged in the 1973 renovation, and are occasionally offered and found in advanced collections. This is the first we have seen that we believe originates from Ebbetts Field. This gigantic image, measuring a remarkable 19.5 x 29.5 inches, represents not only the largest photo we have ever seen of Jackie Robinson but one of the earliest picturing him as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. The photo, which is housed in its original, vintage wood frame, captures Robinson in uniform striking an action pose at Ebbets Field. As evident from the scoreboard pictured in the background, which displays an advertisement dated 1946, it appears this photo was taken prior to the start of the 1947 season, which was Robinson's first as a Dodger. On April 10, 1947, the Dodgers played the Montreal Royals, their top farm club, in a preseason exhibition game at Ebbets Field. Robinson was still a member of Montreal at the time, but right after the game the Dodgers announced that they had purchased Robinson's contract from Montreal and that he would report immediately. Just five days later, on April 15th, Robinson took the field for the Dodgers at Ebbets Field in the team's opening game against Boston, thus becoming the first black man to play in a Major League game since Moses Fleetwood Walker in 1884. While we cannot be certain about the actual date of this photo, it is more than likely that it was taken just prior to the start of the 1947 season. The strongest evidence we have supporting that supposition is Robinson's uniform. The uniform features a zipper-front jersey, a style used in 1946 but not in 1947 (according to the Hall of Fame uniform database). Normally, teams used the previous season's uniforms during preseason, thus supporting the argument that this photo was taken sometime between April 11th (Robinson's first day as a Dodger) and April 15th (the first game of the season). In addition to its historically important date, this photo is also the most impressive Jackie Robinson display photo we have ever seen. Robinson played first base his first season with Brooklyn and this photo pictures him wearing a first baseman's glove as he poses reaching for a high one. According to our consignor, it has always been his understanding that this photo was originally displayed at Ebbets Field. Although we have no way to confirm that information, we do believe this to be precisely the case, and we do know that it is identical in construction, style, and very similar in size to the many oversized photos that once hung at Yankee Stadium. Therefore we believe it not only to be plausible, but likely that this photo did, in fact, once decorate the walls at Ebbets Field. The photo displays light water staining along the base as well as minor toning and foxing. The water damage along the base has resulted in a very small portion of the photo adhering to the glass, which has no impact on the extraordinary display value but is mentioned strictly for the sake of accuracy. Although technically in Good to Very Good condition, Robinson's image is unaffected by any of the flaws and the photo displays as Excellent. This is an exceptional vintage Robinson photo dating just prior to his historic breaking of Baseball's color barrier in 1947, and an extraordinary and unique vintage Jackie Robinson display piece. Framed to total dimensions of 21.5 x 31.5 inches. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $2,115
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