Lot # 120: May 13, 1947 Cincinnati Reds vs. Brooklyn Dodgers Crosley Field Scorecard - Pee Wee Reese Puts His Arm Around Jackie Robinson?

Starting Bid: $100.00

Bids: 32 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Summer, 2023 Premier Auction",
which ran from 8/2/2023 12:00 PM to
8/19/2023 9:00 PM

Did he, or didn't he?  Regarding this official 1947 Cincinnati Reds Crosley Field scorecard that likely dates to May 13 of that season, that is the question - and the simple gesture that lends extraordinary significance to this otherwise ordinary scorecard.

One of the legendary anecdotes regarding Jackie Robinson's rookie season relates to the Dodgers' first stop at Crowley Field in Cincinnati on May 13.  Legend is that when the Dodgers took the field in the bottom of the first inning, a hostile Cincinnati crowd hurled abusive and racist insults at the Dodgers' rookie first baseman.  While the club warmed up, Brooklyn shortstop and fan favorite Pee Wee Reese, born in nearby Ekron, Kentucky, jogged across the field and put his arm around Robinson in solidarity, hushing the crowd and showing true brotherhood.  The event is often referenced as a testament to Reese's extraordinary leadership, as well as Robinson's stoic grace.  The legend has been popularized in Ken Burns' Baseball as well as in the outstanding biographical film 42.  A statue dramatizing the moment stands outside the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.

But modern research suggests that the event never occurred.  No reference to it appeared in any press, including the Black press (where it would likely have been big news).  Robinson himself, in his autobiography, attributed the moment to a 1948 game in Boston, and Ken Burns, after referring to it in his documentary, has subsequently stated that it never happened.

Regardless, the date of May 13, 1947, marks the date of one of baseball's most legendary stories, one that has long been dramatized in film and in books, a story passed down over the years as an example of kindness in the face of pressure, grace in the face of hatred.  In one moment, the story illustrates the complex nature of Jackie Robinson's struggle, the adversity he faced - initially even within his own team - and the small, but powerful gestures that helped take pressure off the young rookie.

Presented here is an official Crosley Field scorecard, unscored, for a game between the Reds and Dodgers.  Though the game has not been scored, it is the presence of outfielder Tommy Tatum on the Dodgers' roster that leads us to conclude that the scorecard likely dates to May 13 - on that very day, Tatum was sold to Cincinnati, meaning May 13 marks the only date at Crosley Field that Tatum would have been listed on the Dodgers' roster.  The following day, and every day thereafter, Tatum would have been listed with the Reds.  In the May 13 game,

Views: 148