An original Jackie Robinson photo dating to his earliest days with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and the same image used for one of his earliest baseball cards is among the top items in Lelands’ new Fall Classic auction.
The 8×10 Type I image shows Robinson kneeling with a bat. It’s the photo collectors will find on one of the cards issued by Bond Bread during his rookie season. Bidding quickly rose past $10,000 after the auction’s Sunday night launch.
It’s one of several Robinson items in the auction including an autographed 1955 Topps card three remarkable handwritten letters. The first likely dates to 1941 and was written to Bob Campbell, who owned a bookstore near the UCLA campus and had loaned his financially struggling friend some money.
“I just wanted to say hello and send you a few dollars on my bill I know it isn’t much but at the present time my folks are in need of money and I have to take it easy, the young Robinson writes. “Eventually I will pay it all back but it will have to take time…. I feel your help has helped me very much and if I can ever do anything that I can do for you I will be more than glad…. I will always remember you as one of the best friends a person could have.”
The second letter was penned in 1955 to Andrea Simon, mother of acclaimed singer/songwriter Carly Simon, and wife of publisher Richard Simon (Simon & Schuster), in which Robinson expresses his appreciation for the help she received from the Simons while his wife Rachel was ill. The Simons befriended Jackie and Rachel Robinson when they were trying to find a home in Connecticut but were met with resistance from the virtually all-white community.
The third letter dates to 1965 and was also likely sent to Campbell, illustrating the long friendship between the two. Robinson expresses his unhappiness with Dodgers longtime general manager Buzzy Bavasi and also mentions his son Jackie Jr.’s pending return home from Viet Nam.
The auction’s other top memorabilia items include a notorious, handwritten Yankees questionnaire from 1972 filled in by Mickey Mantle with some exceptionally lewd content he submitted to the club’s PR team as a practical joke, a Mantle batting helmet from the 1960s, a 1975 Mean Joe Greene game-worn Steelers jersey from one of Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl seasons, a 1966 Frank Robinson Orioles jersey from his MVP, Triple Crown and World Series championship season, game-used bats from Derek Jeter, Phil Rizzuto and Harmon Killebrew, Yankee executive George Weiss’ 1951 World Series ring and Je’Rod Cherry’s 2001 New England Patriots Super Bowl ring.
The auction also features a Pop 1 Josh Allen NT RPA 2/3, a 2017 Flawless Patrick Mahomes Emerald RPA numbered to 25 (PSA 9/10), a rare 2000 Playoff Contenders Football Championship Ticket uncut sheet with the record-setting Tom Brady rookie card, a 2003 Ultimate Collection Basketball #127 LeBron James rookie autograph, a 2000 Upper Deck Exclusives Football Gold #254 Brady rookie, a 1959 Yoo-Hoo Mantle (PSA 4), a 1952 Topps Mantle (SGC 2), a 1955 Topps #123 Sandy Koufax Rookie PSA NM-MT 8, a 1954 Topps signed near complete set with Jackie Robinson and a Babe Ruth signed 1929 Kashin Publications R316 card.
Bidding is underway now at Lelands.com.