Earlier this year, it made global headlines when one of Jackie Robinson's 1947 major-league debut stubs sold at auction for nearly $500,000. Then one of the equally rare 1st home-run game stubs reached a record $18,000. Now we're proud to present what is, to the best of our research, the only known program from Robinson's historic first round-tripper.
Significantly, the 3rd-inning solo shot came in his debut road game—against the cross-town rival New York Giants at the Polo Grounds, no less. In front of a partly hostile crowd, Jackie launched Dave Koslo's second pitch out to the upper-deck scoreboard in left field. It marked number 1 of 137 career home runs, as well as number 1 of 734 career RBIs. "Greeting him at home plate was the next batter, Tommy Tatum," recounts a SABR article. "The photo of a White man exchanging a handshake with a Black man ran on the back page of the next day’s New York Daily News." If baseball's integration was a microcosm for the Civil Rights struggle writ large, then Jackie's success or failure would have monumental repercussions on the sit-ins and boycotts to come in the Jim Crow South. That one swing of the bat, that proud and defiant homer, signaled to the world that there was no turning back the clock, that progress really was on the march, that Jackie Robinson would indeed change the arc of history—and bend it toward justice.
Though condition is a moot point with such a unique, museum-worthy piece, the program exhibits light to medium toning, one small edge tear and some corner chipping. Of far greater importance, the neat pencil scoring by one lucky witness—who had the foresight to save the program for posterity—features a chills-inducing "4" in the grid box for Robinson's 3rd-inning at-bat.