Events | April 12, 2016

Jackie Robinson's Signed Contracts to be Displayed for a Limited Time at the N-YHS

NEW YORK, NY, April 12, 2016 - The documents that broke baseball’s color barrier and helped spark the Civil Rights Movement will be on view at the New-York Historical Society for a limited time only, beginning on April 15, Jackie Robinson Day. On April 11, 1947, Jack Roosevelt Robinson signed a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers, thereby integrating Major League Baseball. To commemorate this historic event, Robinson’s signed contact with the Brooklyn Dodgers, as well as the contract he signed in 1945 when he joined the minor league team the Montreal Royals, were unveiled at a press conference in Times Square on Monday, April 11 hosted by Collectors Café, and will then be on display at the New-York Historical Society before embarking on a tour in the U.S. 

Jackie Robinson (1919-1972) became the first African American to play major league baseball after Brooklyn Dodgers President Branch Rickey chose him to integrate baseball. Facing antagonism both on and off the field?from fans, opposing teams, and even initially his own teammates?Robinson displayed astounding fortitude and dazzled the crowds on the field and at bat during his first season with the Dodgers, earning the first-ever Rookie of the Year Award. He retired with a career batting average of .311, 1,518 hits, 137 home runs, 734 RBIs, and 197 stolen bases and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot in his first year of eligibility (1962).

Throughout his life, Robinson remained an active supporter of civil rights, serving as a spokesperson for the NAACP and a political activist with the goal of advancing the rights of all Americans. In 2007, MLB declared April 15 Jackie Robinson Day, and in 2009, the league declared that all uniformed personnel would wear 42 on April 15. The Ken Burns documentary, Jackie Robinson, is broadcast on PBS on April 11 and 12.

WHAT:           Jackie Robinson’s signed contacts with the Montreal Royals (1945) and the Brooklyn Dodgers (1947)

WHEN:           April 15-22, 2016

WHERE:         New-York Historical Society - 170 Central Park West (at 77th Street), New York City

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About the New-York Historical Society
The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s pre-eminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research, presenting history and art exhibitions, and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical is the oldest museum in New York City. New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered political, cultural, and social history of New York City and State and the nation, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history. For more information, visit:

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