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    1957 Jackie Robinson Signed Retirement Letter. The incredible saga of baseball's most culturally significant career came to a close when this letter was presented to New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham, who had acquired the pioneering Hall of Famer from the Brooklyn Dodgers for the sum of Dick Littlefield and $30,000 cash. In the ten years since his heroic transversal of baseball's color line, the superstar infielder had won over most of the sporting world with his talent and dignity, inspiring an outcry from baseball fans at his departure from the Major Leagues quite different but almost as vocal as was heard upon his arrival. Dodgers general manager Buzzie Bavasi would explain that that the dismissal of Robinson from his beloved Bums had been team owner Walter O'Malley's idea alone, and Jackie would characterize the 2008 Hall of Fame inductee in his 1972 autobiography I Never Had It Made as "viciously antagonistic." Bavasi was personally opposed to the trade, noting, "The only reason he was traded was because Walter O'Malley and Jackie never got along. It was a personal feud between Walter and Jackie, and I was asked to trade him. Walter wanted a trade a year earlier, but I told Walter we could win the pennant in '56 with Jackie and wouldn't without him. So he put it off a year."

    Though the popular story in baseball culture is that Robinson considered the Polo Grounds the enemy camp and chose retirement over the treasonous act of suiting up in a Giants uniform, the truth is that his denial of such rumors in the text of his January 14, 1957 letter to Stoneham is likely genuine. He writes:

    Dear Mr. Stoneham:

    After due consideration I have decided to request to be placed on the voluntary retired list as I am going to devote my full time to the business opportunities that have been presented.

    My sincere thanks to you and to Mr. Feeney f

    More information about Jackie Robinson.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2008
    3rd Saturday
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