Historically Significant 1940 Jackie Robinson UCLA Bruins Football PSA Type 1 Encapsulated ACME Newspictures Photo – One of the Earliest Jackie Robinson Photos Extant! - Measures Approx. 7" x 9"
RARE PRE-MLB JACKIE!!! Seven years before the immortal Jackie Robinson would break the Major League Baseball color-barrier in April 1947, he would be running a football through opposing NCAA Division I teams with reckless abandonment. No one would argue that Robinson and Rickey exhibited an overwhelming level of courage to place Jackie in a Brooklyn Dodger uniform, with this earth-shattering event forever standing the test of time; however, other than Robinson's 1946 tenure with the minor league Montreal Royals, not much is said about his prior sports related history. This absolutely momentous 1940 PSA Type 1 Encapsulated image just happens to reveal Jackie Robinson donning his #28 UCLA Bruins uniform, with the star halfback carrying a football and showcasing his elusive running style that dodged a myriad of overmatched defenders.
One of the earliest Robinson photos extant, it was issued some seven years before Robinson would stroll onto the Ebbets Field diamond after his landmark signing with Brooklyn, turning back the clock to an era when the then 21-year-old "stud" would be embarking on an athletic career for the ages. Jackie Robinson excelled in four different sports including baseball, football, track, and basketball, and after his two-year tenure at Pasadena Junior College, he transferred to UCLA where he became the school's first four-letter athlete. While Jackie excelled in the four aforementioned sports, his gridiron skill sets stood heads and heels above the rest, with the star halfback leading the Pacific Coast Conference in scoring in both his Junior and Senior campaigns. One of those seasons, Robinson posted an unfathomable 12.2 yards per carry (still a school record), and led the NCAA in punt return average in 1939 and 1940.
His miraculous feats prompted SPORTS WEEKLY to dub him "the greatest ball carrier on the gridiron today." After college he played in a semi-professional football league before joining the military in 1942, and hooked up with the baseball Negro Leagues in 1945. Two years later at the age of 28, Robinson would turn the baseball world upside down by playing in his first MLB game on April 15, 1947, with the floodgates had now officially opened for previously suppressed African-American ballplayers to have a fair shake in their quest for playing Major League Baseball. Interestingly enough, from the first day he spoke of Robinson, Branch Rickey made it perfectly clear he was "seeking a black ballplayer with great talent and personal character" and that Jackie was his man.
The awe-inspiring 7" x 9" black & white image depicts the great Robinson donning his period-style UCLA gridiron #28 flannels, as he demonstrates his world-class running ability. The collegiate pigskin is safely tucked in his cocked left arm, and the overall presence of this well-centered illustration conjures up vivid memories of the classic running styles seen in so many images of legendary Hall of Famers such as Jim Brown and Gale Sayers. Our hats off to ACME Newspictures who struck this breathtaking image that portrays the finest imaginable resolution and contrast. Indeed, it appears as if Jackie is about to run the football right off of the photo, with the unparalleled crystal-clear clarity providing an almost 3D effect. No glaring surface flaws are evident, and other than a few faint wrinkles barely visible to the naked eye, this 83-year-old marvel has defied father-time. The final exclamation point is the critical ACME NEWSPICTURES credit stamp on the verso that also reflects a September 16, 1940 date. It's no surprise that Jackie Robinson's collectibles continue to skyrocket every day, standing right alongside the likes of Ruth, Cobb, Gehrig, Wagner and Mantle as the most coveted and valuable vintage keepsakes. This remarkable Jackie Robinson memento truly stands as one of his most fascinating Type 1 photos, encapsulated by PSA for ironclad authenticity, and issued approximately seven years before Jackie's momentous MLB debut. It was Robinson's inaugural Brooklyn contract that forever transfigured America's favorite pastime, with his unequivocal courage serving as a beacon of light for not only baseball but an enduring Nation!
MIN BID $2,500