It’s a signature that helped change the world, and it’s hitting the auction block in November.
It the autograph that adorns Jackie Robinson‘s contract to join the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 11, 1947, and it will be sold along with his Montreal Royals contract from 1945 at the museum that carries his name on Nov. 16 in New York City as part of a sale handled by Goldin Auctions.
“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,” said Ken Goldin, owner of Goldin Auctions. “But most historians believe that 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. Bringing the most important baseball document and the founding document of the Civil Rights movement to auction is an awesome responsibility and we are honored to help find them a permanent home for future generation to enjoy.”
Ten percent of the sale will go to the Jackie Robinson Foundation. They’ve been appraised at $36 million by rare document expert Seth Kaller, according to Goldin, and they have been authenticated by PSA/DNA as well as three other authenticators. They were in a Brooklyn historian’s safe-deposit box until a few years ago.
“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 winning bidder will share these historic documents with the world. Of course, they will always have a home at the Jackie Robinson Museum both live in New York City and online.”
There’s also a possibility that Goldin could broker a private sale before the auction if the right buyer emerges.
“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,” Goldin said. “We look forward to an electric night of bidding on Nov. 16, but if the right buyer comes forward before the auction and can ensure these documents will continue to be shared with the public, we’ll certainly consider a private sale.”
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