A key piece of memorabilia from Jackie Robinson’s historic MLB career fetched a massive haul at auction.
The baseball bat that Robinson used in the 1949 MLB All-Star Game sold for $1.08 million on Sunday, Hunt Auctions announced. The company purchased the bat on behalf of a private client.
The bat is a Louisville Slugger, Hillerich & Bradsby S100 model that was made specifically for Robinson for use in the All-Star Game. The game took place in Brooklyn’s Ebbetts Field, the home stadium in which Robinson played for the Dodgers. According to authenticators, the bat was one of only two that were manufactured for the event.
The bat is stamped with Robinson’s signature at the barrel.
Robinson went 1-for-4 in the game, hitting a double and scoring three runs. The bat, as a result, shows some light wear. What makes this piece interesting, though, is that it was an heirloom that was on display at Robinson’s home, after he passed away in 1972. Robinson’s wife, Rachel, displayed the bat in their home, as evidenced by a mounting hole on the knob of the bat and a ring around the middle of the barrel that shows some light bleaching to the wood from the way it was stored.
The item comes accompanied with a letter of authenticity signed by Rachel Robinson.
“The bat has been in the Robinson family archives since the day it was first used by Jackie and I guarantee that is 100% authentic,” Rachel writes in the letter. “I hope that you will treasure it.”
The 1949 season was a notable one for Robinson. He led the league in batting average (.342) and stolen bases (37), plus hit 16 home runs and drove in 124 runs to win the only Most Valuable Player award of his career. The Dodgers went 97-57-2 that year and won the National League pennant before losing to the Yankees in the World Series.
“For years we have witnessed pricing increase for items related to Robinson’s iconic career and see more room for growth as his legacy is becoming, appropriately so, more significant to each generation of fans,” Hunt Auctions president David Hunt said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have been involved in such an important transaction for this historic artifact on behalf of our client.”