“The most luxurious possession, the richest treasure anybody has, is his personal dignity.” – Jackie Robinson.
In the summer of 2013, Bruce Scapecchi, decided to do some local garage sale treasure hunting. He isn’t a stranger to a good garage sale.
“I go, in the summer, anywhere to 2 and 5,000 garage sales,” said Scapecchi.
His search that day led him to the home of Sue McEntee where he noticed some old baseball bats underneath a ping pong table. They were all selling for $1.00. One, in particular, caught his eye. It was a wooden bat with a grip that he recognized right away.
“That was Jackie Robinson’s style,” Scapecchi said.
He picked up the bat and was almost certain he was right. This could in fact be a bat that was used by THE GOAT, Jackie Robinson.
It’s possible some people in this moment would keep that bit of news a secret. It would have been very easy for him to purchase the $1.00 bat and call it a day…a big day. Not Scapecchi. He went right to the homeowner about the bat.
Sue McEntee was busy with her garage sale but remembered when she was first approached by Scapecchi.
“He picked this particular one up and said, “do you know what this is?”
She answered him back with a simple “yeah, it’s a bat.”
Scapecchi knew better. His instincts were telling him that there was something very special about this particular bat. With true Jackie Robinson decency and dignity, Scapecchi had some very exciting news for McEntee.
“He pulled me aside and said ‘I think you may have something here’.”
The bat had been used, loved, and obviously worn so it was difficult to see how Scapecchi knew for a fact it was Robinsons.
He told McEntee that there was ‘one true way’ to really find out.
He asked her to grab a pencil. Excited to see if there was any truth to Scapecchi’s claim, she did as he asked.
Scapecchi rubbed the pencil lead on a specific area on the back of the bat.
Sure enough, the name Jackie Robinson started to appear when the bat was facing the sun.
‘Holy cow! was the only thing McEntee could say.
She had had the bat in her home for years. Her kids even played with it in their backyard. Not once did she realize that she was in possession of such a rare piece of sports history and American history for that matter.
There may have been a good explanation for that special bat showing up after all those years.
McEntee’s own uncle, Joe Hatten, played for the Brooklyn Dodgers alongside Jackie Robinson in the ‘40s.
“He was called Lefty Joe.”
Scapecchi asked McEntee if her uncle was close with Robinson. She replied with a moving statement.
“He was one of the few players that would room with Jackie and I just thought that was incredible,” said Scapecchi.
‘Robinson signed an endorsement contract with H&B in 1946, prior to making his unforgettable debut, so all of the bats made for him at the Major League level featured his facsimile signature.’ – PSA ProBatFacts
Well, big surprise…the bat is no longer for sale.
“We’re going to keep it,” McEntee said, “it’s not going anywhere.”
The bat was lovingly placed back inside the McEntee home where it will stay for many years to come.
It seems that Scapecchi was also in agreement with Robinson that dignity is the greatest treasure of all.
Now watch the heartwarming video below.
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