“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… all I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”
There’s been a lot of buzz around Jackie Robinson and his impact on baseball lately, mostly due to the release of 42, a movie detailing his life story. However, it’s all been building up to today, April 15. Yes…it’s tax day, but it’s also Jackie Robinson Day. The only day of the year dedicated to a famed major league baseball player.
On April 15, 1947 – after having gone to college, serving in the military, and climbing the ranks in the Negro and minor leagues – Jackie Robinson broke the major league color barrier by becoming the first African-American baseball player for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
During his career, Jackie Robinson endured a lot of hardships and racial abuse. Opposing team’s players frequently called him racially charged names from their dugout and attempted to strike if Robinson played.
Even Robinson’s own teammates treated him harshly, prompting the Dodgers manager at the time, Leo Durocher, to say, “I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fuckin’ zebra. I’m the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What’s more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded.”
Robinson was awarded the very first Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award that year. He finished the season with 175 hits that scored 125 runs and included 31 doubles, 5 triples and 12 home runs. He also led the league with 28 sacrifice hits and 29 stolen bases. He would go on to play in six World Series with the Brooklyn Dodgers and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot in 1962. The number carefully stitched into his Dodgers jersey, 42, was retired in 1997 – the first retired jersey number in American sports history.
The life of Jackie Robinson and the gifts he left behind as the first major league African-American baseball player serve as inspiration and a reminder to everyone the importance of equality.
Today, tons of sports memorabilia can be found honoring Robinson and his feat. We’re not always keen on sports memorabilia in a man’s home for fear that it’ll come off as childish (a while back, long time readers may remember our distaste for sports memorabilia such as foam fingers and bobble-heads, which belong in the “mancave” you lived in at your parent’s house), but here are some investment quality items that can come across as both impressive and inspiring – two things all men should strive for.
20”x20” JACKIE ROBINSON PHOTO
For those sports enthusiasts who are strapped for cashed and can’t afford the thousands of dollars for signed jerseys or baseballs, here’s a treat.
This framed 20”x20” photograph is nicely designed, capturing the iconic 42 as Robinson swings at yet another pitch from his soon-to-be defeated opponent.
This item of memorabilia is perfect for a home office or study. Remember, it’s not always all about cost, but how it inspires you as a man. We think some of you sports-minded gents would really enjoy this.
Find this photo and more at ProSportsMemorabilia.com.
16”x20” JACKIE ROBINSON STEALING HOME
Here’s a great photo of Robinson stealing home. Again, for those of you sports-minded gentlemen out there who don’t have the funds to spring for game used jerseys and signed baseball bats, this would be perfect for your bare, unused walls.
The black and white photo coupled with the off-white matte and black frame give it the impression that it was actually taken in Robinson’s heyday.
Again, this photograph is perfect for your home office or study. Imagine taking a break from your work, looking up and watching Jackie Robinson making history. Must be inspiring.
Find this photo and more at SteinerSports.com.
SIGNED 1955 BROOKLYN DODGERS TEAM BASEBALL
Here’s one for the maniacs, although we have to admit, this would look pretty great in our office, too. We’re not saying you should empty your savings account for this bad boy, but we had to show it.
Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Walter Allston and the rest of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers signed this baseball. This is the type of sports memorabilia your dad may have owned, passed down generations. This is also the type of sports memorabilia where, if your dad did own it, you were absolutely not allowed to touch it.
At a whopping $6,124.51, this baseball comes with a letter of authenticity, as it should, and would look great on any sports lover’s mantle.
Check out more photos of this baseball on SportsMemorabilia.com.
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