An original wirephoto announcing the Brooklyn Dodgers’ signing of Jackie Robinson that uses a football image of the former UCLA star is among the top pieces in the new March online catalog from RMY Auctions.
The 5×7 photo is a close up file image of Robinson during his college football career with the Bruins in 1940. After serving in the military, Robinson signed with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues in 1945. Scouted by Branch Rickey, Robinson was summoned to a late August meeting where he was grilled about his potential reaction to abusive fans should he ever reach the major leagues. Satisfied he had his man, Rickey and the Dodgers signed Robinson on October 23, 1945.
The offered ACME News photo was quickly dispatched to newspaper for use the next day, with the caption still attached to the back detailing the historic signing and offering the headline “Breaks Precedent”.
The copy reads, in part, “Jack Roosevelt Robinson became the first of his race to be given a contract in organized baseball when he signed with the Montreal Royals of the International League, a Brooklyn Dodgers’ farm club.”
The photo carries an October 24 date, having been prepared for publication by newspapers just getting the word of the historic event.
It is one of more than 1,300 photos up for bid through March 15 at RMY Auctions.com. Bidding on all photos starts at $15.