Vintage Photo of the Day: Jackie Robinson On Doorstep of History

Sixty-seven years ago at this moment, the speculation began to mount.  Would Jackie Robinson really come north with the Brooklyn Dodgers and break baseball’s long standing color barrier?  This wire photo from March 1947 virtually answers the question.

1947 Dodgers spring training Jackie Robinson PanamaIt’s among hundreds of historic and never-before-seen black and white news photographs at RMY Auctions.  The company’s March auction is underway and the Robinson photo is among the baseball images being offered.

Our photo of the day measures 5 ½” x 8 ½”, a rectangular shot of a smiling Jackie swinging for the news photographers.  Dated March 18, the photo is in excellent condition.

The Dodgers’ 1947 spring training plans involved quite a travelogue.  The club headquartered in Havana, Cuba, but also played in Panama.

Dated Balboa, Canal Zone, where the Dodgers and their top farm club from Montreal spent ten days playing exhibition games, the photo caption printed on the front reads:

Speculation around the Brooklyn Dodgers training camp here today (3/18) was that Jackie Robinson, star of the Montreal Royals, would open the season at 1st base for the Dodgers as the first negro ballplayer to make the grade in the Major Leagues.

It was no speculation.  Branch Rickey was ready to change the game forever and Robinson proved worthy of his confidence, winning not only a starting role but eventually, the Rookie of the Year.  One can only imagine the pressure he was only beginning to feel when this photo was snapped.

The auction is now underway and concludes March 18 at