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Lot # 8: Circa 1951 Jackie Robinson Signed Original Photograph Used for 1953 Topps Card to Teammate Billy Cox (PSA Type I)

Starting Bid: $2,500.00

Bids: 15 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "2023 Summer Classic",
which ran from 7/16/2023 7:00 PM to
8/5/2023 10:00 PM

Presented is a 1951 Jackie Robinson signed original 8x10" black & white photograph, taken by famed photographer Barney Stein, that was used by Topps for Robinson's '53 baseball card (#1), for the Topps set that featured baseball cards with original artwork made from original photos. Robinson was a magnificent ballplayer who batted .311 for his MLB career, all with Brooklyn. At his peak, in 1949 at age 30, Robinson was the National League MVP, won the NL batting crown by hitting .342, and took the NL stolen base title, with 37. Robinson's successful breaking of the "Color Line" was a seminal event in the history of America. The photo was signed and inscribed by Robinson and gifted to his Brooklyn Dodgers teammate Billy Cox, noted for his marvelous fielding at third base. What's particularly ironic is that in 1953, Robinson's range in the field had diminished, and in 1954, the Dodgers used three third basemen: Robinson played 50 games at third and more in left field; Don Hoak played 75 games at third; and Billy Cox played 57 games at third, plus occasional games at shortstop and second base. By 1955, the year the Brooklyn Dodgers won their only World Series, Cox had been sent to the Baltimore Orioles - where he played his final season - mainly because Robinson and Hoak were sharing time at third base. Thus, Robinson and Cox had been in competition for playing time at third base, and yet Robinson's inscription coveys his sincere good wishes for his long-time teammate. During his ten years with the Dodgers, Robinson was a regular at first base, second base, and third base, plus a semi-regular for two seasons as a left fielder. The offered photo was used by Topps in their 1953 baseball card set as the basis for an artistic rendering of each of the 274 included players. The large 2.625x3.75" Topps '53 cards featured lifelike colors and that made the cards wonderful visual collectibles, as the artwork was so lifelike that the cards seemed almost alive. About five different artists were used, and artist Gary Dvorak recalls being paid $25 per painting. Dvorak created about 50 of the paintings, using opaque watercolor paint. This offered signed photo contains Robinson's signature and inscription, using a fountain pen: "To Billy, the best luck always. Sincerely Jackie Robinson." The signature and inscription are clearly legible but have somewhat faded with the passage of time. The signed and inscribed circa 1951 photograph has been encapsulated and PSA/DNA certified as "TYPE I AUTHENTIC." This item comes from Billy's Cox's wife, who then gifted it to our consignor. The beautiful Jackie Robinson signature and its accompanying inscription to Billy Cox on this vintage photo that was the model for Robinson's 1953 Topps card is an item that will inspire interest and conversation in any sports collection.

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