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Baseball, Civil Rights History Now On Display In Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Two landmark contracts signed by Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson are now on display at the National Constitution Center.

"In some ways they look completely benign," says the Constitution Center's Jenny Parker, describing the two standard player contracts signed by one Jack Roosevelt Robinson.

The first was with the minor league Montreal Royals on October 23, 1945. The second was with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 11th, 1947.

Parker says they deserve a close look:

Robinson Contract 1
One of Jackie Robinson's signed contracts. (Credit: Paul Kurtz)

"But when you understand the history and what it meant in 1947 to break this color barrier, long before our own country was breaking barriers when it comes to education and civil rights, how significant they are."

The contracts are the personal property of a private collector who is taking them on tour this summer. The Constitution Center is the second stop of that tour and they'll be there for the next two weeks.

Robinson signed with Montreal for $600 a month. His first Dodgers contract was worth $5,000 for the season.

Both those documents are now estimated to be worth $36-million.


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