Jackie Robinson’s earliest professional baseball contracts are going back on the auction block.
Nearly a year after being offered but failing to meet a reserve price, the two historic pacts dating to his signing with the Montreal Royals in 1945 and the parent Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1947, will be offered by Goldin Auctions. The two contracts are again being offered as a pair with an opening bid of $5 million. If sold, ten percent of the purchase price will be donated to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
The duo includes Robinson’s contract with the Montreal Royals dated and signed on October 23, 1945 and the one he signed on April 11, 1947 to become the first African-American major league player with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The contracts have been authenticated by James Spence Authentication (JSA), Beckett Authentication Services and John Reznikoff of University Archives. According to Goldin Auctions, they were appraised for $36 million by rare document expert Seth Kaller.
The auction will open online on January 21–Martin Luther King Jr. Day-and close during a live event in New York City on January 31-the 100th anniversary of Robinson’s birth.
During the past three years, the contracts have been on public display at several museums and major-league stadiums, including the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, City Hall in Montreal, Times Square in New York City, Busch Stadium, Wrigley Field, and others.
Those interested in making a run at owning them must register in advance and be approved to bid.
The contracts are also being offered for purchase prior to the auction “at a mutually agreed upon price” provided they’ll be put on permanent display, according to Goldin Auctions, which is also looking for items to offer in an upcoming Jackie Robinson Centennial Auction.
The auction preview is open at GoldinAuctions.com.