There are many people who make profitable businesses out of buying unwanted items at garage sales and selling them on.
Finding a valuable item for a bargain price is all part of the fun – but if you came across something truly valuable at a steal of a price, would you be honest with the seller or smugly make your purchase?
In this case, one buyer decided to be honest when he discovered something valuable in a garage sale.
If you love sports history, this story is right up your alley. The piece of memorabilia in question has a finger on the pulse of our current national struggle.
Bruce Scapecchi, the buyer who made the discovery, was driving around garage sales on Saturday morning, as usual.
According to Bruce, he visits more than five thousand garage sales every summer, so he’s clearly an expert at spotting something unusual.
When Bruce visited a little garage sale in a suburban neighborhood, he never imagined what he’d discover.
Underneath a ping pong table were several baseball bats – a couple of aluminum and one wooden.
Most people would have glanced over the wooden bat with little interest, but something about it caught Bruce’s attention.
Curious, Bruce asked the seller, Sue McEntee, how much the bat would cost – and she told him one dollar.
By this point, Bruce’s suspicions that Sue knew nothing about the item for sale were confirmed. But to check, he asked Sue if she knew what it was. Sue replied that it was a baseball bat – nothing more interesting than that.
But Bruce was something of a baseball expert, and he recognized the grip. He had a hunch that it may have once belonged to a specific and historic player.
He took Sue to one side and asked the confused seller for a pencil.
Intrigued, Sue offered Bruce a pencil, and he used it to carefully rub the graphite across a certain part of the bat, which proved Bruce’s theory then and there.
With the graphite marking on the wood, a carved engraving was revealed. Though the engraving was worn down over the years, the name was still distinguishable.
When Sue read the name, a memory came into her mind.
Her uncle had been a major leaguer named Joe Hatten – but the name on the bat wasn’t his name.
Joe had played for the Brooklyn Dodgers back in 1947. As it turned out, the bat belonged to one of Joe’s acquaintances: the one and only Jackie Robinson.
Jackie Robinson was the first African American to break the color line and play in Major League Baseball.
In 1947, Robinson played First Base for the Dodgers, while the crowd booed and made racial slurs, while some people cheered.
From this moment on, whether the crowd was happy or not, the world of baseball changed for the better.
Robinson went on to play in in six world series and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
But despite all his sporting achievements, which can never go ignored, the most inspiring aspect of Robinson’s story was his willpower to endure so much hate when breaking the color line.
This story is perfect proof that you simply never know what you might find at a garage sale – perhaps even a world-changing piece of memorabilia.
You can watch the video below for interviews with Joe and Sue.
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