Jackie Robinson, the late baseball legend who broke barriers for African-Americans in sports, will have his original contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers on public view in New York.
The document, officially signed by Robinson on April 11, 1947, granting him a spot on the Dodgers team, along with a contract he signed two years earlier with the Montreal Royals is on display at Collectors Cafe, a new collectibles auction venture in Times Square. On Friday, the documents will then be moved to the New York Historical Society, where they will be on display for a week before heading out on tour.
“For us, the significance of the contracts is that these are the documents that ushered in a whole new era in sport history in this country,” Michael Ryan, vice president and librarian of the New-York Historical Society, told ABC. “One of the themes that run through our program here is civil rights, abolitionism, slavery … so this is right in line with our mission.”The significance of the contracts is that these are the documents that ushered in a whole new era in sport history in this country. Click To Tweet
“By actually signing this document, Robinson changed history, and therefore it gets valued among the most treasured, the most valued, American documents,” Seth Kaller, an expert in American historic documents, told the publication. “This is miles beyond any other Jackie Robinson document. There’s no sports document I can think of that approaches this in its importance and value.”
Both documents, acquired by Mykalai Kontilai, CEO of Collectors Cafe in 2013, were valued at $36 million by Kaller.
After this showing in New York, the documents are headed to the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, then will travel to venues in Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, St. Louis, L.A., and Washington, D.C.