Tag Archives: jackie robinson

2011 Topps ‘Prime 9 Players Of The Week’ Redemption Set – Jackie Robinson

2011 Topps ‘Prime 9 Players Of The Week’ Redemption Set – Jackie Robinson

I had such a good time building the ‘Prime 9 – Home Run Legends’ set that as soon as it was completed, I jumped right into the ‘Prime 9 – Players Of The Week’ set.

The set was issued in the same manner – through exclusive redemption cards that could only be processed through hobby shops.

The set is ten cards deep, and features a great graphic display as well as a super-glossy finish.

This is the Jackie Robinson card from the set:

Prime Robinson

 

The back of the card features ‘9 Prime’ facts about Robinson.

A few of my favorites are:

  • Starred at UCLA in basketball, football, track, and baseball
  • Won a batting title in lone minor league season
  • Innaugural Rookie Of The Year Award Winner
  • Led NL in steals in two of first three seasons
  • First ever Black MLB analyst
  • Awarded Presidential Medal Of Freedom in 1984

2012 Topps ‘Career Day’ Subset – Card #19 – Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers

2012 Topps ‘Career Day’ Subset – Card #19 – Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers

I am working on this set because I find it to be the most appealing of the subsets issued by Topps in 2012.

The cards feature bold colors, great images, and a unique horizontal design.

I especially like the ‘Career Day’ theme as it pays homage to some of the greatest individual performances of baseball’s elite players.

Card #19 – Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers

CAREER DAY 19

The Career Day – April 23, 1954.  On this day during the 1954 baseball season, Jackie Robinson stole the show with his bat and legs.  Robinson went 3-for-5 for the Dodgers while hitting a double and two singles and scoring a run.  He also stole three bases in the contest – all three coming in the same inning!!  His final hit of the afternoon was a game-winning double in the 13th inning.

Progress – 19/25

Did You Know…

In the history of the National Baseball Hall Of Fame, only two second baseman have been elected on the first ballot.  Jackie Robinson was elected on his first ballot in 1960, and Joe Morgan was elected in 1990.

jackie robinson

joe morgan

Baseball Card Show Purchase #4 – Duke Snider & Jackie Robinson 2004 Upper Deck World Series Heroes

Baseball Card Show Purchase #4 – Duke Snider & Jackie Robinson 2004 Upper Deck World Series Heroes

I have yet to declare that this is a set I want to collect until it is complete, but when I can add cards from the set to my small stack for just one dime each, I will do so.

It just so happens to be that these two cards were back-to-back in the bargain bin.  And it also happens to be that the two players are Hall of Famers and among the legends of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Have a look:

SHOW 4

Come Watch The Trailer For The Upcoming Jackie Robinson Biopic ’42’

Come Watch The Trailer For The Upcoming Jackie Robinson Biopic ’42’

I will definitely be going to the theaters to see this one!!!

New Jackie Robinson Movie Being Planned

New Jackie Robinson Movie Being Planned

By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com 

Jackie Robinson, one of baseball’s most beloved figures, will soon have a motion picture dedicated to his legacy. Robinson, the sporting and social icon who broke baseball’s long-standing color barrier in 1947, will be the subject of a film by the company that brought “The Dark Knight” and “The Hangover” to the silver screen.

Robinson famously played himself in “The Jackie Robinson Story” in 1950, and the Legendary Pictures imprint will be written and directed by Brian Helgeland, the auteur behind “L.A. Confidential” and “Mystic River.” Thomas Tull, the chairman and chief executive officer of Legendary Pictures, said that Robinson’s story bears all the marks of great cinema.

“It really is difficult for me to convey how excited we are and how excited I am about bringing this to the screen,” said Tull. “I had the opportunity to sit down with Rachel Robinson, and both she and her late husband are folks I hold in the highest regard. Rachel Robinson is one of the classiest, most graceful human beings I’ve ever met. We’re unbelievably grateful.”

Robinson, who passed away in 1972 and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, was a four-sport star at UCLA and a member of the armed forces during World War II. After his service had concluded, he played baseball in the Negro Leagues before signing with the Dodgers. 

Famed executive Branch Rickey — played by Minor Watson in the 1950 film — convinced Robinson to sign on with the Dodgers, and the rest was sporting and civil rights history. Robinson played for a year with Brooklyn affiliate Montreal in the International League, and then he endured slights most men could hardly imagine when playing for the Dodgers in ’47.

Robinson won the National League Rookie of the Year Award that season, but his true achievement was in leveling the playing field so people of all races could play. Major League Baseball later christened April 15 — the date of his debut — as Jackie Robinson Day, and his No. 42 was retired league-wide. On Jackie Robinson Day, players can choose to wear it in his honor.

“The stakes were absolutely unbelievable,” said Tull. “It’s hard for us to imagine what Jackie Robinson went through and what his family went through and the sacrifice he made in a really deliberate way. This year, I had the privilege of being at Yankee Stadium on Jackie Robinson Day. Rachel Robinson was there, and watching every player on the field wear 42 was really special. It’s hard to overstate the impact Jackie Robinson made on American culture and on the game.”

Robinson, the NL MVP Award winner in 1949 and a World Series champion in ’55, was elected to the Hall of Fame in ’62.

Rachel Robinson furthered her husband’s legacy by creating the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which is dedicated to increasing educational opportunities for minorities with demonstrated financial needs. Robinson issued a statement on Wednesday as part of the Legendary Pictures press release announcing the start of the project.

“My family and I are thrilled to have this important film on Jack produced by Legendary Pictures,” she said. “We are proud of his lasting impact on our society, and we know that the legacy he left is inspiring and worth preserving.”

The 65th anniversary of Robinson’s debut will occur in 2012, and the Foundation is working on opening a museum in Lower Manhattan dedicated to his legacy some time in the next couple years. Tull said it’s too early to tell when the motion picture will be ready, but he also said there’s an entire team dedicated to making it as good as it can be.

“Right now we’re working through the process and making sure we have a screen play,” said Tull of the film’s potential release date. “It’s definitely a movie on the fast track, as long as we can make sure it’s as special as we plan it to be. We will not rush it. It’s one of those things where we have a sense of urgency, but that’s balanced by making sure it’s a fantastic movie. We’re in production meetings and script meetings, and the second we know what that date is, we’d be happy to share it.”

Did You Know…

Did You Know…

In 1982, Jackie Robinson became the first major league player to be pictured n a United States postage stamp.

JACKIE ROBINSON 2011 Topps Target Red Diamond

JACKIE ROBINSON 2011 Topps Target Red Diamond

When I bought my handful of 2011 Topps packs, I pulled the card below.  And while I have no idea if it is a valuable card or not, I don’t really care either.  It’s just cool because it’s Jackie!!

So, if anyone wants it, just ask and it’s yours!!

Why are there so few African-American players playing major league baseball?

Written by Michael Barry, author of the website Baseball Underground

Over the past few years, the topic concerning the decrease in the number of African-American baseball players in major league baseball has become one that peppers sports talk radio airwaves every couple of months.  While the topic is both important and sensitive in nature, I often feel it has become the new “Should Pete Rose be in the Hall of Fame” for the 2000’s, relegated to discussion on days when sports-talk personalities have “nothing better” to talk about.  This is not, however, due to a lack of sensitivity about the subject on the talking heads’ part.  Rather, I believe that it is for three reasons: a.) How or why did this happen; b.) Is it, as it appears, race related; and, c.) How, and is it even possible, for us to “fix” the “problem?”

I’m no historian, but, quite frankly, the issue of African-American participation in baseball can be tackled quite easily from a common sense point of view.  Everyone is looking for some magic pill that can “fix” the “problem” with one easy stroke of the brush.  However, things just aren’t that easy because, what we are dealing with is an issue that took decades to create.

The Negro Baseball Leagues operated from 1920 through the 1960’s and gave African-American baseball players, who were not allowed to play in the major leagues due to the Jim Crowe policies in place at the time, a place where they could play and enjoy the game they loved.  When Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson in 1945, it changed not only Major League Baseball and American culture forever, but it also commenced the end of the Negro Leagues.  Obviously, Robinson was only the first player to leave the Negro Leagues for the majors.  Other organizations soon followed Rickey’s lead and started plucking the best players from the Negro Leagues, relegating the league to minor league status.  However, soon players were being signed and sent to the minor league affiliates of the major league clubs and, fifteen years after Robinson was signed, the Negro Leagues were extinct.

During this time, the National Football League also came into existence.  While originally an integrated league, the NFL stopped signing African-American players in 1927, only to follow baseball’s lead and reintegrated in 1946.  However, during the time of reintegration, player salaries and playing conditions were poor, the league was still expanding and had not yet stabilized, so baseball was still a more attractive option to many athletes.

It was also during this time, in 1946, that professional basketball emerged in the United States, when the Basketball Association of America was founded.  In 1949, the BAA merged with the National Basketball League to form the seventeen-team NBA.  However, in 1950, the league consolidated to eleven teams.  This process continued until 1954 when the league reached its smallest size of eight teams.  Obviously, due to downsizing, there was an excess of qualified players for the new league, which hurt its appeal with potential players.

However, the NFL and NBA soon stabilized and gave America the “Big Three” sports options.  Baseball was no longer the only venue for professional athletes.  They now had options.  In the 1960’s, the American Football League (started in 1959) was so successful, it merged with the NFL.  During this period, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlin became huge stars in the NBA, giving young African-American athletes their first significant role models since Jackie Robinson.  With more options, new role models, and the ability to choose to play in the minor leagues for peanuts or go straight to playing on television, it’s no wonder fewer and fewer African-American athletes were choosing to play football and basketball as opposed to baseball.  Especially when you consider the fact that these other leagues do not have the decades-long history of turning away potential players solely based on the color of their skin.  And these facts are supported by the timing of the decline of African-American players in the MLB.  In 1970, thirty percent of major league baseball players were of African-American descent.  Today, that number is around eight or nine percent, depending on where you get your information.  Considering that it takes roughly ten years for an impression on a youth to show itself during that youth’s adult decisions, it is easy to see that the emergence of Russell and Chamberlin, the stability of the NFL and the advent (and appeal of playing on) television easily became strong contributors to young African-Americans choosing to play sports other than baseball.

Which brings us to our second question, Is this race related?  And the answer is, No.  The racial divide we see in baseball has nothing to do with race.  It does, however, have everything to do with socioeconomic.  It cannot be ignored that baseball has become an expensive sport.  Unlike the days of the Negro Leagues, the equipment needed to play the game has become increasingly expensive.  Baseball gloves cost upwards of $80 and, for a decent high school metal bat, you can easily drop over $200.  This, obviously then, has more of an issue with the baseball equipment companies than it is with the game itself.  Because of how the equipment companies currently price the equipment needed to play the game, they have turned baseball into a suburbanite sport.  Unlike basketball, where a $25 basketball can last you years, or football, where the schools provide the players with the pads and kids can always play touch football without pads, baseball has just become too expensive for a blue collar middle class family with more than one son to invest in.  With less expensive alternatives out there, it’s obvious why many African-American athletes have chosen other sports. 

And, the bottom line is, we’re already making strides to remedy this situation.  Since the 1990’s, Major League Baseball has made strides to promote baseball to the African-American community.  With the RBI Program and by joining forces with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, we are seeing an increase in African-American participation in the sport.  A farm never bears its best crop in its first year.  It takes years of planting, reseeding, seeing what works and what doesn’t, before you achieve a consistently good crop year-after-year.  We are now seeing the fruit of those labors appearing in Major League Baseball, with players like Jason Heyward, Adam Jones and Andrew McCutchen as some of the brightest rising stars in the game today.  I predict that, over the next ten years, we will see even more African-American players emerging from these programs and having a positive impact on our National Pastime.  There is no magic pill.  We just have to give our crops time to grow.  

Picking That 1 Card Design You’d Love To See Brought Back To The Hobby

We all have that 1 card that seems to always catch our eye.  It can be in the most inconspicuous of places, but it happens each and every time.  Whether you’re just browsing on Ebay, shopping at a local card shop, or going from table to table at a card show it seems to stand out amongst the rest.

For me, it’s the 1956 Jackie Robinson card.  Obviously I have never seen Jackie Robinson play but his legend speaks volumes for several reasons.  But this specific card from the 1956 set always stands out to me.  I love the design.  I love the action photo in the background with the large portrait super-imposed on top of it.  The colors that are used for a time period of primarily dull and dark cards really makes this issue stand out.  This is the first card that I ever called ‘art’ and to this day I feel that it is the best looking card I have ever seen.

So that got me to thinking…  If I could choose any 1 card design of the past to have Topps or another major baseball card company reissue with today’s players which one would it be?

For me, it is the 1956 Topps card.  And You???