Today’s the day where everyone in Major League Baseball dons No. 42 as a tribute to the man who changed the game — and America — forever.
On this day back in 1947, Jackie Robinson became a baseball and social pioneer, breaking MLB’s color barrier and helping change how the game was played. His actions undoubtedly helped with the civil rights movement, which had its landmark legal act nearly two decades later.
Collecting Robinson isn’t easy on a budget, but there are a few options for fans.
The simplest item for something of substance for a Robinson collection is a memorabilia card. He appears on slightly more than 700 different cards of this type with some dipping as low as $30. Those, at least to Buzz, are the best bargains for advanced cards.
For vintage cards, Robinson has just two Rookie Cards from 1949 Bowman and 1949 Leaf — they’ll cost you thousands in high and professionally graded condition and hundreds in lesser and raw condition. For other cards produced during his playing days, there aren’t as many options as you may think. He has Topps cards from just 1952 to 1956 and they are pricey. His Bowman run ends just a year after his RC with a pricey but visually impressive 1950 card.
Robinson autographs are of the cut variety when it comes to certified releases since he died back in 1972. Roughly 150 different cut autos have been made by all companies in the last 16 years. The first was from Upper Deck in 2000 and they’re all relatively pricey. His autograph is available on memorabilia pieces but those are always in demand and could be counterfeited because of the value of his signature. Cut autos will cost a minimum of $1,000 with better-quality cuts and landmark sets costing much more.
For other types of cards, he’s had countless appearances — more than 2,000 different ones — and they can be found with varying price tags. Depending on what you like, you can probably find something no matter what your budget.
For Buzz, though, the best item to start a Robinson collection while working a budget is the first one mentioned here — the memorabilia card.
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