Jackie Robinson’s original professional baseball contracts with the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Montreal Royals, which were in a Brooklyn historian’s safe-deposit box until a few years ago, are being offered at auction by Goldin Auctions. The auction will open online at GoldinAuctions.com on January 21-Martin Luther King Jr. Day-and close during a live event in New York City on January 31-the 100th anniversary of Robinson’s birth. The opening bid is $5 million, with 10% of the purchase price being donated to the Jackie Robinson Foundation. The auction preview is open at GoldinAuctions.com.
“There are many documents on display in museums that represent seminal moments in history which forever changed America, such as the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation. But most historians believe the integration of baseball with the signing of Jackie Robinson had as great an impact on America as any other moment in history. In fact, Martin Luther King called Robinson the founder of the Civil Rights movement,” said Ken Goldin, chairman of Goldin Auctions.
The two contracts, which will be sold together, were signed by Robinson on October 23, 1945, with the Montreal Royals and on April 11, 1947, with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The contracts have been authenticated by James Spence Authentication (JSA), Beckett Authentication Services and John Reznikoff of University Archives. They were appraised for $36 million by rare document expert Seth Kaller, who has appraised many comparable historical items, including Abraham Lincoln signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and Benjamin Franklin signed copies of the U.S. Constitution. The documents are currently insured and appraised by Chubb for $36 million.
“We are delighted with our partnership with Goldin Auctions that promotes Jackie Robinson’s legacy in baseball and in the Civil Rights movement,” said Della Britton Baeza, president and CEO of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. “We hope that the new owner will share these historic documents with the world. Of course, they will always have a home at the site of the future Jackie Robinson Museum both live in New York City and online.”
During the past three years, the contracts have been on public display at several museums and major-league stadiums, including the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, City Hall in Montreal, Times Square in New York City, Busch Stadium, Wrigley Field, and others.
“We encourage philanthropists, museum curators, MLB team owners, corporations and anyone else with the means who loves baseball or supports the civil rights movement or wants to help preserve Jackie’s legacy, to step forward and take ownership of these historic documents,” said Mr. Goldin.
All interested bidders must register in advance and be approved to bid. Individuals, corporations, foundations or any other parties interested in purchasing the documents in advance of the auction at a mutually agreed upon price and guaranteeing a permanent public display should contact Goldin Auctions at info@GoldinAuctions.com or 856-767-8550. Goldin Auctions is also accepting consignments for its upcoming Jackie Robinson Centennial Auction-celebrating the 100th anniversary of Robinson’s birth.
About the Jackie Robinson Foundation
Founded by Rachel Robinson in 1973 to perpetuate the memory of Jackie Robinson, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) is a public, non-profit organization that administers one of the nation’s premier education and leadership development programs for minority college students. In addition to four years of generous financial assistance, JRF offers an unparalleled, comprehensive set of support services that has led to a consistent, nearly 100% graduation rate among African-American college students. The 1,500 JRF alumni are proven leaders in their communities and across a broad range of professional fields-serving as true ambassadors of Jackie Robinson’s legacy of service, excellence and humanitarianism. JRF has disbursed over $70 million in grants and direct program support to students who have attended over 260 colleges and universities across the country. The Jackie Robinson Foundation is engaged currently in building the Jackie Robinson Museum to educate and inspire visitors of all generations around Jackie Robinson’s courageous achievements on and off the field. For more information, visit www.jackierobinson.org.
About Goldin Auctions
Sports memorabilia impresario Ken Goldin has sold more than $600 million in memorabilia from many of the biggest names in sports, history and pop culture and was the pioneer of using the medium of television to sell sports memorabilia. Goldin Auctions strives to break new ground and offer collectors the best in collectible treasures up for auction in the marketplace. All game-worn or autographed items come with team, player, league or additional LOA from industry-leading authenticators, and collectors can bid with confidence that their proxy/ceiling bids remain confidential. For more information, visit www.goldinauctions.com.