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Thread: Collection Centerpiece Acquired

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    Collection Centerpiece Acquired

    As some of you may know, the primary focus of my collection (ok, one of two primary focuses, along with lineup cards) is baseball's integration, and its central figures. Some of the major figures are Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe. Jackie obviously broke the color barrier, but all 3 played for the Dodgers, and all 3 were signed before the 1946 season (along with a couple of lesser players.) Jackie is obviously a legend and Hall-of-Famer. Newcombe was a great starter for the Dodgers for a period of time. Campanella won 3 MVP's and put together a HOF career before a horrific car accident left him in a wheelchair for life.

    One of the central things that I try to capture in my collection is the complexity around these stories. Many people just see the sports world as "before Jackie Robinson" when everything wa segregated and racism was accepted, and "after Jackie Robinson" when there was integration. In reality though, Jackie Robinson himself played on integrated teams in High School, Junior College and College (as the yearbooks from when he attended John Muir High School, Pasadena Junior High and UCLA show.)

    And once there was integration, it was not like the doos were just thrown wide open. Case in point Roy Campanella. In a story that is not particularly well known (Campanella gives just limited details in his autobiography "It's Good to be Alive") that Campanella originally signed on with the Danville Dodgers, a Minor League leam in Illinois. But after pushback (possibly from the league and possibly from the team) that they were not ready to integrate, Campanella signed a new contract with the Dodger's Minor League team in Nashua, where he ultimately spent the 1946 season.

    It took a few months but old auction archives, a pointer from a kind individual on Net54 and a friend who back in the day used to ride the subway with Jackie Robinson came together to allow me to acquire these. I got the Danville one a couple of months back but knowing there was a chance I could get the Nashua one as well, I waited to share them here. Today, after spending an hour meeting and speaking to a friend I've made (who as I mentioned actually used to ride the subways with Jackie Robinson, and who has endless stories to share about Jackie and the Dodgers of that era) I was able to acquire the Nashua contract.

    These are likely the centerpiece of my collection. Campanella was either the 3rd or 4th African-American player to sign with an affiliate of an MLB team, and his initial contract was signed before Jackie played his first game. To me, they capture the complexity and challenges of being a trailblazer. Campanalla had a different personality than Jackie (more naturally easygoing and positive) and at times I don't think he viewed himself as someone leading change, but in many ways he did. He was one of the first black players; he was a future HOF who won 3 MVP awards. After his injury, he became an inspiration to many through his perseverence and positivity.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Campanella, Roy 1946 Danville Contract 1.jpg   Campanella, Roy 1946 Danville Contract 3.jpg   Campanella, Roy 1946 Nashua Contract 1.jpg   Campanella, Roy 1946 Nashua Contract 2.jpg  
    Last edited by Topnotchsy; 01-13-2019 at 07:50 PM.

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    🤤🤤🤤🤤 those are absolutely jaw dropping ! Congrats !!!!

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    Holy moley!!!! The absolute greatest collection ever!


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    Junior Member Kid4hof03's Avatar
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    Truly amazing!


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    Wow, amazing


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    Oh wow !

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    WOW!!!!
    Very, very pleased for you!!!!!!!
    Collector of Autographs, TTM autographs, Vintage, Yankees and Mantle
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    Completely amazing!!! Thank you for sharing

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    I once saw an interview with Campanella in which he thought that he may have been held back from the Majors first because he was half-white (his father was white from Sicilly, and the name Campanella is as Italian as DiMaggio).

    Campanella said Branch Rickey considered him, but Rickey wanted a “full black” man such as Robinson to break the color barrier to make it more groundbreaking, and that since Campanella was no more black than he was white, making the Majors first would have been seen as a concession or compromise, instead of fully integrating the league with a player such as Robinson.
    Set builder, autograph hunter and fan of the Texas Rangers & '50s-'60s Yankees

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    That's a great big gallon of awesome sauce right there!
    Tanner Jones, Author of Confessions of a Baseball Card Addict - Now Available on Amazon!
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    Member Letch77's Avatar
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    Wow! That's a pretty historic collection in and of itself!
    Wanting to buy '96 Select Certified Mirror Gold baseball...commons & stars

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    Senior Member Pinbreaker's Avatar
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    As someone who has been a fan favorite of Campanella, I find these amazing pieces just draw dropping..

    Something I would see in the Museum in KC..

    Thanks for sharing..

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    Amazing!

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    Senior Member joey12508's Avatar
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    Amazing piece of history, just WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AmishDave View Post
    🤤🤤🤤🤤 those are absolutely jaw dropping ! Congrats !!!!
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyCorona View Post
    Holy moley!!!! The absolute greatest collection ever!
    Not sure about that, but glad you like it!


    Quote Originally Posted by Kid4hof03 View Post
    Truly amazing!
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by MrMet View Post
    Wow, amazing
    Thanks!


    Quote Originally Posted by finestkind View Post
    Oh wow !
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by dano7 View Post
    WOW!!!!
    Very, very pleased for you!!!!!!!
    I really appreciate that!

    Quote Originally Posted by rebelpawn View Post
    Completely amazing!!! Thank you for sharing


    Quote Originally Posted by Austin View Post
    I once saw an interview with Campanella in which he thought that he may have been held back from the Majors first because he was half-white (his father was white from Sicilly, and the name Campanella is as Italian as DiMaggio).

    Campanella said Branch Rickey considered him, but Rickey wanted a “full black” man such as Robinson to break the color barrier to make it more groundbreaking, and that since Campanella was no more black than he was white, making the Majors first would have been seen as a concession or compromise, instead of fully integrating the league with a player such as Robinson.
    That's an interesting idea, though to be honest, nothing I've read really would indicate that that is true. I imagine Rickey considered Campanella, since he was a young star in the Negro Leagues, but from everything I've read, the fact that Robinson was a college graduate and had been in the military were major factors in the decision. Campanella also had a very different personality than Robinson and was much more willing to take what was given and not aggressively fight for more. It was just a different approach, but maybe not the approach for the man breaking the color barrier.

    Quote Originally Posted by mouschi View Post
    That's a great big gallon of awesome sauce right there!


    Quote Originally Posted by Letch77 View Post
    Wow! That's a pretty historic collection in and of itself!
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinbreaker View Post
    As someone who has been a fan favorite of Campanella, I find these amazing pieces just draw dropping..

    Something I would see in the Museum in KC..

    Thanks for sharing..
    I appreciate that. Big fan of Campanella myself. His autobiography is really moving.

    Quote Originally Posted by mhcook View Post
    Amazing!
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by joey12508 View Post
    Amazing piece of history, just WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I appreciate that!

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