Auction Item Details

Lot 847

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Lot Number: 847

Description: Scarce Brooklyn Dodgers professional model baseball hat with interior protective head plates c.1947-50. Classic original royal blue Brooklyn Dodgers hat with embroidered white "B" on front showing fine evident use overall. Interior retains its original white leather headband with Spalding label. Noted on the inside of the body of the hat are two composite shell plates which were sewn into the hat by the Dodgers as a result of the racially motivated beanings that were occurring to Jackie Robinson. There are only a scant few known examples of this type customized hat, one of which originated from the personal collection of Jackie Robinson and is identical in almost every respect to the offered example. This particular hat was originally obtained by a Manhassett, New York gentleman who lived in the same neighborhood as a Brooklyn Dodgers employee. The two became acquainted and led to the presentation of the offered Dodgers hat to the gentleman. At the time of presentation, it was relayed to the gentleman that this was a "hat worn by Jackie Robinson with the protective plates due to him being hit in the head by opposing pitchers." The hat has "B.Hess" written inside the leather headband corresponding to the recipient with no other indicative player markings. It is important to note that the offered hat is approx. a size 6 3/4 versus the documented Robinson family example which was around size 7. There has been at least one other Dodgers hat of that period with protective plates that has turned up with definitive attribution to a player other than Robinson. Player attribution aside the rarity and significance of this particular hat provides a poignant insight into the racial tension within the game during the late 1940s period in which Robinson altered the sporting landscape for the betterment of all. Includes LOA from Hunt Auctions and letter of provenance from the family of the original recipient: VG-EX

Estimated Price Range: ($5,000-$10,000)

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