Man saw a unique treasure at a yard sale for $1 and knew he’d found a piece of history
This was a scene straight out of the show Antiques Roadhouse.
KCCI reported that Sue McEntee of Des Moines, Iowa, had a piece of valuable treasure hidden in her house and she put it up for a garage sale.
McEntee almost gave away her treasure for $1 because she had no idea that she was in possession of a bat that belonged to a groundbreaking baseball legend.
She had the bat for years and her children grew up playing with it in their backyard. However, it was discovered by a buyer who discovered what she had and decided to let her know.
Bruce Scapecchi, who goes to thousands of garage sales in summer, said that he saw a bunch of baseball bats under the table. Instead of paying the $1 and walking away with the treasure, he walked over and told her what he thought about the bat.
The stranger explained that the unique grip on the bat pointed towards one individual, the legendary Brooklyn Dodger Jack Roosevelt Robinson, better known as Jackie Robinson.
The history associated with the player is important as he was the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era, bringing an end to the racial segregation in professional baseball.
Robinson was also inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. He received the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, was the All-Star for six consecutive seasons, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949.
Scapecchi had a quick test to determine if the bat indeed belonged to the legend. He asked McEntee to bring a pencil for him. He told her that there was an area in the bat where one could see the name ‘Jackie Robinson’ when rubbed with a lead pencil.
The bat had the signature of the great player. McEntee decided to take it off the sale immediately.
She then connected all the missing dots. She had got the bat from her uncle who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers alongside Robinson.
Joe Hatten was a left-handed pitcher lovingly called ‘Lefty Joe.’ He and Robinson played baseball together in the 1940’s. According to McEntee, Hatten was one of the few players to room with Robinson.
She realized two important things, one that the bat was owned by the famous Robinson and second, it was a beautiful testament to the end of racial segregation in baseball and her uncle standing against discrimination.