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Jackie Robinson’s padded cap sells for $590K at auction

Associated Press

New York — A specially padded baseball cap that Jackie Robinson wore for protection against beanballs has sold for $590,994 at auction.

Brooklyn Dodgers baseball player Jackie Robinson poses in 1952. A specially padded baseball cap that Jackie Robinson wore for protection against beanballs has sold for $590,994 at auction.

The blue Brooklyn Dodgers hat sold Saturday after a monthlong online auction through the sports auctioneers Lelands.

Lelands says Robinson wore the hat when he broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947.

Robinson endured constant racist taunts during that rookie year, and pitchers frequently threw at his head.

Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era for the Brooklyn Dodgers, making his first appearance on April 15, 1947. Robinson died in 1972, aged 53. Dressed in a road uniform, Robinson is seen crouching by a base in 1951.

The padded cap came with a letter from Robinson’s widow, Rachel, describing the three protective plates sewn inside the lining.

The 95-year-old Rachel Robinson was in Los Angeles on Tuesday to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Game 1 of the World Series between the Dodgers and the Houston Astros.

Batting helmets didn’t become mandatory in the Major Leagues until 1956.