Washington Nationals v Boston Red Sox

Source: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox / Getty

True baseball card collectors know there is only one real rookie card for the iconic Jackie Robinson, and that would be his 1948 Leaf #79 Card, which sold for $174K in September. On February 27 and 28, Dallas, TX-based Heritage Auctions is hosting their Winter Platinum Night event, and the original photograph used to create that card will be up for auction, too.

However, the image carries a larger historical significance because of its use in an Associated Press article about the rumors of an alleged strike by the St. Louis Cardinals against the Brooklyn Dodgers if Robinson were to play. The back of the photo has a memo attached to it, which alludes to the strike and as well as a denial from St. Louis Cardinals Manager Eddie Dyer with the statement that if the Brooklyn Dodgers think “[Robinson] can be of value to the club that certainly is all right with us.”

Some historians may debate if Dyer’s quote was real, but the discrimination against Robinson and the racial tension of the era is indisputably captured with the 5-by-7 inch, black and white photo of Robinson, whose estimated sale price is $80,000.

Also available for auction will be the original 1920 photograph used for Babe Ruth’s famous 1933 Buttercream card, so named because it was part of a special promotion run by the Butter Cream Confectionery Corporation. The 7.5-by-9.5 inch picture is from The Great Bambino’s first season with the New York Yankees. It has an official “Original Baseball Magazine” hologram on the back, which proves its authenticity. According to the Heritage Auctions guide, the photograph has an estimated value of $20,000, and it may sell for more.

Internet bidding for these items, and other sports memorabilia, is scheduled to start February 5.

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