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Cap That Shielded Jackie Robinson From Racist Pitchers Fetches Record Amount at Auction

Although he’d go on to become a legend in the sport, Jackie Robinson faced racism from players and fans early on

JACKIE ROBINSON CAP
AP/Lelands

A Brooklyn Dodgers cap worn by Jackie Robinson has been auctioned for a record amount.

The blue cap sold for $590,000 Saturday after a monthlong online auction through the sports auctioneers Lelands. It's the most money ever exchanged for a hat at auction.

Lelands says Robinson wore the hat when he broke baseball's color barrier in 1947. That year he joined the Dodgers and became the first black athlete to play in the segregated MLB in the 20th century.

Robinson endured constant racist taunts during his rookie year, and pitchers frequently threw at his head. The specially-padded cap helped protect him from beanings by the pitchers. 

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.

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