1947 Bond Bread Jackie Robinson "Portrait- Facsimile Autograph" – Robinson's TRUE Rookie Card PSA 7 NM - Only 6 PSA Examples Graded Higher!
The convoluted discussion over what issue is Jackie Robinson's "TRUE" rookie card continues to be one of the hobby's major "black holes". While many enthusiasts have dubbed his 1948/'49 Leaf subject his mainstream rookie, the fact remains Robinson had a notable cardboard issue distributed in 1947. Indeed, the bona fide Jackie Robinson rookie card issued is his 1947 Bond Bread "Portrait-Facsimile Autograph" subject that was first released in the early summer of 1947 (approx. late June/July), some three months after Jackie established his unparalleled stature as "the player who broke the MLB color barrier" on April 15, 1947. Presented here just happens to be one of the finest examples of Jackie's momentous '47 Bond Bread "Portrait' rookie, a magnificent PSA 7 NM keepsake that has only been bested by a paltry six specimens. With regard to the momentous scarcity of the 1947 "Portrait/Facsimile" Bond Bread Robinson true rookie card versus its 1948/49 Leaf peer, the '47 Bond Bread's relatively low 116 PSA count represents a meager 7% of the total 1,571 Jackie Leaf's (at the time this was written)! In the early Spring of 1947, Brooklyn Dodgers' innovative GM Branch Rickey called up Robinson to the big-leagues only six days before the start of the 1947 campaign, promoting him from the Dodgers Montreal Royals farm club.
Needless to say, Jackie Robinson's name was now on the tips of everyone's tongue, and it didn't take long for companies to capitalize on his immense popularity by utilizing Jackie's name as a promotional vehicle for their related products. One such company was the Bond Bread Bakery manufacturer who placed a Robinson Bond Bread card into one of their loafs of bread in at least eight major cities (possibly eleven) as well as Montreal, Canada. While the Bond Bread company would ultimately issue an additional 12 Jackie subjects over the next several years (1948/49), they were ALL distributed after this "Portrait-Facsimile Autograph" offering that featured a unique verso revealing a brief Jackie bio and Bond Bread advertisement. The PSA population report does reflect a higher number of the "Portrait" rookie version presented here, with its 116 encapsulated examples exceeding each of its later issued Bond Bread peers by a roughly 3-5x count. This notion possibly substantiates the theory that grocers might have been instructed to hand out the inaugural 1947 "Portrait" offering at checkout counters to promote the Bond Bread brand. The final "nail in the coffin" to justify the 1947 Bond Bread Jackie Robinson "Portrait-Facsimile Autograph" subject as Jackie's true rookie card is its documented distribution in eight different U.S. cities (New York, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Washington DC, Baltimore and Pittsburgh) as well as Montreal, Canada.
This clearly indicates the Bond Bread Robinson cards were not regional issues, with some collecting purists being opposed to branding a limited regionally distributed subject as a rookie card candidate. Indeed, the availability of the Bond Bread Jackie Robinson subjects was widespread, placing it as a virtual mainstream issue. The card itself reveals a captivating black & white Jackie portrait pose emanating crystal-clear clarity and near-perfect contrast. The "Jackie Robinson" white facsimile script on his first baseman's mitt is bold/vivid, and the fine centering only reveals a modest favoritism towards the lower edge between four dazzling white borders. Four right-angled corners are consistent with the grade, and no obtrusive flaws are evident on either side. Almost sad to say, Robinson's remarkable batting, base-running and fielding skill sets simply get lost in the shuffle due to his "godly-like" stature as our National Pastime's inaugural African-American player. Indeed, his immortal standing stems from the embodiment of courage he displayed when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, prompting this historic Bond Bread Portrait issue. Similar to his iconic legacy, this unequivocal 1947 Jackie Robinson Bond Bread rookie card has likewise withstood the "test of time," serving as a steadfast reminder of Robinson's remarkable qualities that will surely "echo for eternity!"
MIN BID $10,000