NEW YORK — A rare jersey from Jackie Robinson’s historic rookie season with the Brooklyn Dodgers 70 years ago could be available for someone with a few spare millions.
The jersey, part of a Heroes of Sports offering by Heritage Auctions, has been certified by Mears, one of the top memorabilia authentication companies. It is accompanied by a letter from Robinson’s widow, Rachel, saying it is the one brought home by the Hall of Famer at the end of the 1947 season, when he became the first black player in the majors and earned Rookie of the Year honors.
“This is the only one known from the ’47 season, the only one that survived,” Chris Ivy, Heritage’s director of sports auctions, told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “It stayed in his closet for five decades plus until it was eventually sold to a private collector in the early 2000s.”
The online auction opened Friday and closes at 11 p.m. on Nov. 19. The entire collection is from one owner and can be viewed on Heritage’s website. Other items available for bidding include Babe Ruth’s pants from the Hall of Fame induction in 1939, Keith Hernandez’s 1978 Gold Glove award, a Wilt Chamberlain jersey from 1966, Bill Vukovich’s Indianapolis 500 trophy from 1953 and Muhammad Ali’s shoes from his fight against Ken Norton in 1973.
Ivy said the Robinson jersey has been valued at more than $3 million. He wouldn’t be surprised to see it exceed that.
“It’s tough to estimate a piece like this — it’s a one of a kind,” he said. “As far as collectibles a rookie (jersey) is always sought after, something that’s significant.”
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