The bat used by Jackie Robinson during the 1949 MLB All-Star Game in Brooklyn sold for $1.08 million (including buyer’s premium) at auction Saturday, collectibles marketplace Goldin announced.
While it’s not the most expensive baseball bat ever sold at auction — that record belongs to the bat Babe Ruth hit his first Yankee Stadium home run with in 1923, at $1.265 million — it’s exceedingly rare to cross the $1 million threshold.
The bat was purchased by Hunt Auctions, which most recently made waves conducting auctions of Bill Russell’s memorabilia, on behalf of a private buyer.
The bat includes a letter of authenticity from Robinson’s wife, Rachel, who wrote: “The bat has been in the Robinson family archives since the day it was first used by Jackie.”
“The direct provenance from Rachel Robinson and the added historical significance of the 1949 All-Star Game being played in Brooklyn place this example at the pinnacle of Jackie game bats,” David Hunt, president of Hunt Auctions, said in a statement.
Robinson won his only MVP award during the 1949 season. The 75th anniversary of Robinson’s major league debut to break the color barrier was celebrated April 15.
The same Goldin auction also included a 1951 game-used Robinson home jersey. Including buyer’s premium, bidding had reached nearly $8.5 million, which would have been by far the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold at auction. However, the reserve wasn’t met and the jersey went unsold.