Winter 2020 Catalog Auction Ending Feb 22
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By 1955 Jackie Robinson had become a baseball superstar, the very face of the Brooklyn Dodgers organization. His action-packed style of play had rubbed off on his teammates, and those Dodgers clubs of the 1950’s were every inch a reflection of Robinson’s play. Besides being the man who successfully shattered baseball’s color line, as Jackie turned 36 in 1955, he could look back on a career highlighted by the game’s greatest awards: Rookie of the Year (1947), National League Most Valuable Player (1949), Batting Champion (1949), two-time stolen base champ (1947 and 1949) and six All-Star appearances. He was also the fire and drive behind Brooklyn’s five National League pennants – yet one thing eluded Jackie Robinson – a World Championship.

That would change in 1955. The Dodgers that year was a perfect combination of veterans and youth. That year’s MVP, Roy Campanella, called the shots for a pitching staff consisting of vets Don Newcombe and Carl Erskine backed up by newcomers Don Drysdale, Johnny Podres and Sandy Koufax. Old-timers Snider and Furillo still roamed the outfield, backed up by a young, fleet-footed Cuban, Sandy Amoros. Gil Hodges and Pee Wee Reese added stability in the infield while Junior Gilliam was being groomed to take Jackie Robinson’s place at second. Jackie was moved over to third, completing one of the strongest clubs to ever wear Dodger Blue and Brooklyn cruised to the pennant by 13 ½ games over Milwaukee.

Their opponent in the World Series was their old nemesis, the New York Yankees. Since Robinson came up to Brooklyn in 1947, the Dodgers faced the Yanks four times, and each hard-fought Series ended in a traumatic Dodger defeat. To a competitor as ferocious as Jackie Robinson, this was unacceptable, and 1955 would be different. From the start it became apparent that the Dodgers were not going to roll over, and the proof of that were Robinson’s actions in the first game. He began by hitting a triple off Whitey Ford in the second inning, then scoring on Don Zimmer’s single. The Yanks were ahead 6-3 when Robinson reached second on an error in the top of the 8th. Zimmer sacrificed in a run to make it 6-4. Robinson danced off third as the Yankee Stadium crowd held its breath. Then, Jackie took off, barreling down the base path like a man 15 years younger than his 36 years. An incredulous Yogi Berra waited at the plate, and in one of the most hotly contested moments in World Series history, Robinson evaded the tag to score. The footage of the moment has become one of those iconic moments in sports, with a screaming Yogi Berra arguing the call, and Robinson calmly and triumphantly getting up and trotting to the dugout. Despite Robinson’s mad dash, the Yankees took Game 1, but the example set by the team’s aging third baseman spurred this Dodger team on to do what they had failed to do before – win the World Championship. The 1955 Series was Jackie’s swan song. The following year would be his last, his World Championship the final laurel of a career that took him all the way to Cooperstown.

                This incredible Hillerich & Bradsby R115 model bat dates to the 1955 labeling period. This bat displays outstanding game use and is un-cracked. There are ball marks, stitch impressions and green bat rack streaks – most likely from the dugout of Ebbets Field, on the barrel. The barrel also shows signs of alterations by Robinson with a ¼-inch removed from the top to help reduce the weight of the bat. There is a light coating of vintage pine tar on the handle. Adding to this already one-of-a-kind gamer is the blue ballpoint pen signature of Jackie himself on the barrel. The original length (34.5 inches) and weight (35 ounces) of this bat corresponds to the lengths and weights recorded in the factory ordering records at Hillerich & Bradsby Co. This bat was presented to a noted collector Paul Hill, who in his letter of provenance that accompanies this bat states that this bat was given to him by Jackie at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia during the summer of 1955, was signed by Robinson in his presence and has been in his personal collection. One of the very rare game used bats from Jackie Robinson during Brooklyn’s only World Series winning season! This is the Only 1955 Season Game Used and PSA Authenticated Robinson bat in existence.  This also comes with a LOA from PSA/DNA (1B02989) for the game use, having been graded a perfect GU 10 and an additional LOA from PSA/DNA (B56902) for his signature.

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