Sports fans and anyone interested in a piece of American history will enjoy hearing this stunner of a story. It’s near impossible to find an item by chance that belonged to a superstar. Not unless you enter a museum.
Bruce Scapecchi was out one Saturday morning, driving around spotting garage sales and looking to discover something special. Scapecchi says each summer he attends upwards of five thousand garage sales. He’s a veteran and an expert in the garage sale game.
He saw one, parked his car, got out to check the items and came upon something special. He has that skill.
There was a piece of wood on the ground under a ping pong table. It was tossed down there with some aluminum baseball bats. It may have looked like an ordinary bat, but Scapecchi had an eye for interesting finds.
He asked the owner how much, and Sue McEntee told him one dollar.
Scapecchi asked her if she knew what this was. Unsure of why he was asking such a simple question, she told him it was an old baseball bat. Nothing special, and he could have it for a dollar cash.
Scapecchi wasn’t a hundred percent sure, but he did recognize it as having a unique grip that may belong to a specific and historic player.
He took McEntee aside and told her she might have something special. Did she have a pencil?
McEntee went inside and brought out a pencil, her interest piqued.
Scapecchi rubbed the graphite from the pencil across a certain part of the bat and something stood out. An engraving was carved into the wood. The engraving was worn down over the years but it was clear who’s bat this belonged to.
Reading the name brought back memories to McEntee’s mind. She thought of her Uncle, a real-life major leaguer named Joe Hatten. But that’s not the best part.
The name that was engraved on the bat was someone her uncle Joe had played with for the Brooklyn Dodgers back in the year 1947. A historic year for baseball and an even more historic year for American civilization writ large.
This bat belonged to the one and only Jackie Robinson.
Jackie Robinson was the first African American baseball player to break the color line and play in Major League Baseball. In 1947, Robinson put on a Dodgers uniform and took the field at First Base amidst booing, racial slurs, and cheering. The world was changed for the better on that day.
Robinson received the inaugural Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, he was an All-Star for six seasons and elected National League MVP in 1949.
He played in six world series and was quintessential to the team in 1955 when Dodgers won the world series. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
As incredible as his accomplishments were, it was what he had to endure when breaking the color line. Being the first, he had to hold steady as an example of grace and resolve. Not easy when you think about it.
Robinson had to endure strife from his own teammates, and then from the opposing teams.
How Jackie was thrust into the spotlight to open the color lines in America’s favorite pastime, was and still is a shining moment for the social experiment that is the United States.
So forget the malls, the huge supermarkets, and all those fancy shops. Hit up the local neighborhood and see if there’s a garage sale. You just may stumble upon a national treasure or a piece of history.
Check out this amazing find below!
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