Jackie Robinson's Historic Baseball Contracts Hit Auction Block, Appraised at $36 Mil
Jackie RobinsonHistoric Baseball Contracts for Auction... Appraised at $36 Mil
1/22/2019 11:18 AM PT
Jackie Robinson's contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers -- one of the most important documents of all time -- is hitting the auction block and it's expected to fetch MILLIONS ... TMZ Sports has learned.
The 1947 contract -- which made Robinson the first black player to sign with an MLB team -- will be sold along with Jackie's 1945 contract with the Montreal Royals, the Dodgers minor league team.
Bidding on the items, hosted by Goldin Auctions, began on Monday ... starting bid was $5 MILLION.
We spoke with Ken Goldin who tells us he's had the items appraised by a rare documents expert who valued the pair at $36 million. Goldin says 10% of the final sale price will be donated to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
The contracts have been on the auction block before -- most recently in 2017 -- but it did not hit the $15 million reserve, so it went back to the consignor.
Now, the seller is giving the sale another shot ... with a lower reserve.
Jackie's 1947 contract with the Dodgers specifies the team will pay him $5,000 for the '47 season.
The contract states Robinson will "keep himself in first class physical condition" and will "obey the club's training rules."
Robinson also agreed to pledge himself to "the American public and to the Club to conform to high standards of personal conduct, fair play and good sportsmanship."
The contract was signed by Robinson and Dodgers president Branch Rickey on April 11, 1947 ... along with National League president Ford Frick.
Of course, Robinson went on to break the color barrier and crushed the league during his rookie season -- winning N.L. Rookie of the Year honors. The Dodgers went to the World Series that year but lost to the Yankees.
As for Robinson's minor league contract ... it stipulates he was paid $600 per month during the season.
According to the inflation calculator, $600 back in 1945 is worth about $8,374 now.