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Jackie Robinson's number (42) is officially retired by every major league ballpark and his legendary status continues to grow to this day. Throughout his career, Robinson was very cordial and a good signer for fans and collectors. During several periods of his life, Robinson would occasionally employ a secretary or clubhouse attendant to sign his mail, but was known to respond to a great number of requests for his signature.
His signature developed throughout time and evolved from a slowly signed signature with very little authority to a fast flowing signature with authority. This transformation began prior to his professional career and continued up until his death. Thanks to the sale of his cancelled checks and correspondence, signed Robinson material is not rare, but it is valuable. Single-signed baseballs, especially examples signed on the sweet spot, are quite scarce, with Robinson electing to sign most on the side panel.
Robinson died in 1972 at the age of 53.
Jack Roosevelt Robinson (1919-1972) will forever be remembered for breaking the color barrier as the first black player in the modern era to play in Major League Baseball since the 1880s. Brooklyn Dodgers President and General Manager Branch Rickey told Robinson he was looking for a Negro player… “with guts enough to not fight back” when facing racial discrimination. Robinson endured unthinkable abuse from fans and occasionally players, but carried himself with dignity and poise as he helped the organization to six National League pennants and the 1955 World Series championship. In 1947, Jackie Robinson won the Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year award and in 1949, took home the National League’s Most Valuable Player award. Jackie Robinson played second base, primarily, for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1947-1956) and finished his career with 1,518 hits, 137 home runs, 734 RBI and a .311 batting average. In 1997, Robinson’s number “42” was retired bay all Major League Baseball teams. Jack Roosevelt Robinson was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.