Jackie Robinson wasn’t afraid of much. Stealing home was just one of the gambles he was willing to take and more often than not, he was successful. Robinson ranks among the all-time leaders in the category and now a photo of one of his earliest successful attempts is on the auction block.
The RMY Auctions Photo of the Day is a 6×8” news photo of Robinson, sliding across the plate with a run for the Dodgers in the first inning of the July 19, 1947 game with the Cardinals at Ebbets Field. After belting a double, he advanced to third and scored on a double steal.
The newly discovered image was taken by photographer Charles Hoff and still includes the original full paper caption on the back. Despite some slight crazing and artistic enhancements that were added for publication purposes, it remains in good condition.
Watching the speedy infielder put a run on the board with his legs would get to be a frustrating site for opposing pitchers. Robinson’s first steal of home took place on June 24, 1947 and served as a wake up call for defenses–and a warning of what was to come if they didn’t hold him close to the bag.
Robinson would steal home three times in his rookie season alone; then five times in both 1948 and ’49. He would finish his career with 19 steals of home—the only post-War player who ranks in the top 10 all-time. His most famous steal of home came in the 1955 World Series against the Yankees.
Robinson had plenty of success but he was also caught stealing home 12 times in his career.
The photo is one of 500 in RMY’s September Auction.