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  #1  
Old 09-07-2017, 04:25 PM
Dave Grob Dave Grob is offline
Dave Grob
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Default Jackie Robinson: The chicken or the egg?

In a matter of weeks, a 1947 Jackie Robinson home jersey (Heritage) and Robinson’s contracts (1945 & 1947) (Goldin Auctions) will come to market. The 1947 Robinson home jersey as a pre-auction estimate of $2M+ while the contracts are said to have an insured value in excess of $30M. There obviously is a great delta in perceived value between these two lots. In the end, any number of factors will decide the final prices on each, so the question I will pose is which is the more significant and why?

For me, although I am strongly wedded to uniforms, I believe the uniform is the more significant of the two. I base this on the premise that the jersey has created the value for the contracts. What would the value or significance of the contracts be today if Jackie Robinson had been a flop in uniform in 1947? What if in 1947 Robinson had been a marginal player in uniform or been unable to restrain himself in uniform? Would he even have been back with Brooklyn or in the majors in 1948 to sign yet another contract?

The fact of the matter is the Jackie Robinson legacy and value is one based on performance and conduct, not on permissions. Some might proffer that these are unparalleled sports memorabilia offerings…uniform vs contracts, but are they? Recently the transfer documents (permissions) for Babe Ruth’s move from the Boston Red Sox to New York Yankees sold for $2.3M (Lelands), yet the road jersey he wore in his first season in New York sold for $4.4M. Once again, what is the value and significance of the transfer documents if Ruth had gone to New York and been a bust instead of the Bam?

The above Ruth example was not provided as a gauge of relative value (a Ruth jersey vs a Robinson jersey; Ruth agreements vs Robinson agreements), but rather as probably the most recent and near peer example of my “permissions vs performance” construct.

Dave Grob
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Old 09-07-2017, 04:49 PM
Topnotchsy Topnotchsy is offline
Jeff Lazarus
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I think that for some, the historical significance of the contract (the fact that in some ways it was the step that broke the color barrier) might increase its significance as compared to a jersey for Robinson's rookie season which is incredible, but does not have allure as a singular item.

I am also not sure it is fair to compare him to Ruth since I am pretty certain that the number of jerseys a player wore throughout a season was much higher when Robinson played than when Ruth did (I can't say this for sure, but I know that back in the 20's and 30's they went through very few uniforms... it would seem reasonable that by the late 40's they were using far more.)
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Old 09-07-2017, 04:53 PM
Shoeless Moe Shoeless Moe is offline
Paul Gruszka
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If I could have one......jersey.


He wore it game after game, through the taunts, on the field, stole bases, stole home, got pats on the back, sweat, bled, gave his all, played BASEBALL! Made History!

Contract....."sign here", done. Put it in the file cabinet.



NO BRAINER!

Last edited by Shoeless Moe; 09-07-2017 at 05:27 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-07-2017, 04:58 PM
Dave Grob Dave Grob is offline
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Default Jackie Robinson

Jeff,

Just so we are clear, I was not comparing a Ruth jersey to a Robinson jersey, hence my language of "The above Ruth example was not provided as a gauge of relative value (a Ruth jersey vs a Robinson jersey; Ruth agreements vs Robinson agreements), but rather as probably the most recent and near peer example of my “permissions vs performance” construct".

Dave Grob
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Old 09-07-2017, 05:05 PM
Topnotchsy Topnotchsy is offline
Jeff Lazarus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Grob View Post
Jeff,

Just so we are clear, I was not comparing a Ruth jersey to a Robinson jersey, hence my language of "The above Ruth example was not provided as a gauge of relative value (a Ruth jersey vs a Robinson jersey; Ruth agreements vs Robinson agreements), but rather as probably the most recent and near peer example of my “permissions vs performance” construct".

Dave Grob
Dave,

I definitely hear that and didn't intend to imply otherwise. I was just saying that if we use the Ruth as a starting point for consideration, I would think a Jackie contract carries more allure as a historical item, while a Jackie jersey a bit less due to their likely being more in existence.

That said, for me personally, I think I'd probably prefer the jersey.
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  #6  
Old 09-07-2017, 05:46 PM
HolyGrail HolyGrail is offline
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Default Jackie Robinson

The photo of Robinson and Rickey is truly iconic.

1) How do folks feel about the $30 million insurance appraisal?

2) Does anyone want to make an argument for preferring to own the contract instead of the jersey?
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  #7  
Old 09-07-2017, 05:53 PM
murphusa murphusa is offline
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I would rather have a jersey

Last edited by murphusa; 09-07-2017 at 05:54 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-07-2017, 06:07 PM
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vintagesportscollector vintagesportscollector is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murphusa View Post
I would rather have a jersey
+1 for me too, I would much rather have the Jersey - however if I knew I could get $30M selling the contract vs $2M for the jersey, I'll take the 30 mil.
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Last edited by vintagesportscollector; 09-07-2017 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:45 PM
Bestdj777 Bestdj777 is offline
Chris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HolyGrail View Post
The photo of Robinson and Rickey is truly iconic.

1) How do folks feel about the $30 million insurance appraisal?

2) Does anyone want to make an argument for preferring to own the contract instead of the jersey?
The contract is important for the impact it had on baseball. It is what broke the color barrier and its significance far exceeds that of the player himself. The jersey's importance is tied to the caliber of the player. If I was a Jackie Robinson collector my money would go to the jersey all day, every day. I'm not, so my preference would be for the more significant hobby-related item.
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:59 PM
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71buc 71buc is offline
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I would prefer the contract. I also think it's sad that either of these American Treasures could wind up in a private collection. The contract belongs in the National Civil Rights Museum and the Jersey in the Smithsonian. Such precious artifacts should belong to us all as citizens.
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