A newly discovered Jackie Robinson card, dating to the promotion of an African-American sports magazine 70 years ago has been encapsulated and graded by CGC.
The “Our Sports Authority Magazine” Robinson is one even advanced collectors have never seen.
“Not only is this the first one that CGC has ever graded, this is the first example that I’ve ever seen in over 24 years of grading cards,” said CGC Senior Grader Andy Broome.
It’s not a traditional trading card, but has the look and feel of one, at least on the front. The card measures 2 ½” x 4” with a black-and-white image of the Brooklyn Dodgers star on the front—the same image used for Robinson’s 1953 Topps card, which was #1 in that series.
The card was a gift to subscribers of Our Sports Magazine, which lasted only five issues. Robinson was promoted as part of the magazine’s editorial team and wrote articles.
Marketed toward Black readers, Our Sports Authority offered a one-year subscription for $2 and ads in the magazine showcased the Robinson card, which bore his facsimile autograph on the front and back. It was essentially a membership card—“suitable for framing,” according to the publication. In humorous fashion, the text on the back encourages the bearer to show the card to other sports fans and instructing them not to argue with him because of his status as a knowledgeable sports fan who reads the magazine.
Our Sports Authority typed the subscriber’s name on the back and that process is believed to have led to the light creasing that resulted in a grade of 2.5.
The card is being offered in Hake’s current auction. The company says it originated with a Canadian consignor who obtained it, along with numerous other “fan club” type items, as an avid baseball fan while growing up in the 1950s. The lot comes with a copy of the magazine that features Monte Irvin on the front.
CGC has developed a special holder for the Robinson card, one that will be used to encapsulate similar size issues holdered by the company.