Sam Jethroe - 1951 Bowman

Samuel “Jet” Jethroe (1918-2001) was one of three of Negro league players, along with Marvin Williams and Jackie Robinson, urged to try out for the Boston Red Sox in 1945, but was ultimately turned away as Boston had no interest in being the catalyst of integration in Major League Baseball. Sam played eight seasons in the Negro Leagues with the Indianapolis ABCs (1938) and the Cincinnati/Cleveland Buckeyes (1942-1948) before getting his shot at the Major Leagues. Sam was a two-time batting champion and was instrumental in the Cleveland Buckeyes four-game sweep of the Homestead Grays in the 1945 Negro League World Series. He also helped lead the Buckeyes to the 1947 pennant, but they then lost to the New York Cubans in the 1947 Negro League World Series. Just as Brooklyn Dodgers manager Branch Rickey had done with Hall of Famer integrator Jackie Robinson, Jethroe signed with the Dodgers organization and began playing with their minor league affiliate, the Montreal Royals. In 1948, Sam batted .322 in the International League and led the league in stolen bases in 1949, but was traded to the Boston Braves at season’s end. He became the first black player for the Boston Braves organization in 1950 and proceeded to lead the National League in stolen bases for the first of two consecutive years, each with 35 swipes. Jethroe added a .273 batting average with 159 hits, 18 home runs and 58 RBI to earn the 1950 NL Rookie of the Year honors. Sam played centerfield for the Braves for three seasons (1950-1952), but wasn’t a particularly good fielder and didn’t posses the strongest arm. Even though he posted a respectable .971 fielding percentage. Unfortunately, he led the NL in errors by an outfielder each of his years in Boston. Jethroe played the 1953 season with the Toledo Sox and finished his Major League career with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1954) with which he played only two games. Sam played five more years of minor league baseball with the Toronto Maple Leafs before retiring for good. Sam Jethroe finished his Major League career with a .261 batting average, 460 hits including 49 home runs, 280 runs scored, 98 stolen bases and 181 RBI in 442 games. He also hit the last grand slam in Boston Braves history before the club moved to Milwaukee.



Condition Census (Explain)

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 GEM MT 10
2 MINT 9 (13)

AUCTION PRICES REALIZED

Date Price Grade Lot # Auction House Auction/Seller Type Cert
11/17/2005 $447 9 168 Memory Lane, Inc. The Buried Treasure Card IV Auction Auction 06038830
08/07/2007 $814 9 613 SCP Auctions SCP Auctions September 2007 Internet Auction Auction 60105925
08/15/2015 $350 9 1119 Memory Lane, Inc. Summer Break 2015 Auction Auction 24219053
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09/14/2016 $43 8 361718945257 eBay probstein123 Auction 26158676
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