A lot of people find Garage Sale to be fun and enjoyable. You will never know what valuable treasure hides among the discarded items waiting for a new place to call home. There are even times in which people actually find items worth of heaps of money due to its rare or historical value.
Such is in the case of Sue McEntee of Des Moines, Iowa, who decided to put all of the things they no longer use in a garage sale. Among their family’s discarded items was a special baseball bat tag with a $1 price tag. Unbeknownst to her, the special baseball bat belonged to a legendary baseball player, which makes the baseball bat much more expensive than it looks like.
According to Sue, never had she thought that the bat was special, especially when she grew up seeing it all the time. In fact, her kids grew up playing with the special baseball bat in their backyard. Thus, Sue was stunned to know that the baseball bat is like a precious treasure.
Fortunately for the mother, a kind man who was interested with the baseball bat let her know about the immense value it has today.
“I go, in the summer, anywhere to 2 and 5,000 garage sales,” Bruce Scapecchi, a prospect buyer in Sue’s garage sale, narrated. “I saw a bunch of baseball bats under the table, mostly metal.”
Instead of simply paying a buck and go home with the priceless baseball bat, Bruce walked over to Sue and shared his knowledge about it..
“He picked this particular one up and he looked at me and said, ‘Do you know what this is?’ Sue recalled, sharing how Bruce enlightened her about the real score of the baseball bat. ‘Well yeah, it’s a bat,’ and he pulled me off to the side and said, ‘I think you might have something here.”
The kindhearted old man pointed out the unique grip of the baseball bat that certainly looks the same with the legendary Jackie Robinson’s baseball bat.
Since Jackie Robinson was the very first African American to ever play in the Major League Baseball in the modern times and ended the racial segregation in the field of professional baseball- the baseball surely is worth more than $1!
Aside of this, Jackie Robinson was included in the Baseball Hall of Fame in the year 1962. He was also awarded with the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in the year 1947. On top of these, he was the All-Star for six consecutive seasons and even won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in the year 1949.
Although Bruce had an intuition that the baseball bat indeed belong to the legendary Jackie Robinson, the old man shared one way of verifying their intuition.
“He said, when he looked at it, he said ‘It’s hard for me to tell but there’s one true way, I want you to go inside and get a pencil.’ I went in the house and I got a pencil and I came back out,” Sue explained. “There’s an area on the bat where he rubbed a lead pencil. And if you’re out in the sun you can see the name ‘Jackie Robinson’ and I was like ‘Holy cow!’”
Lo and behold- the baseball bat indeed turned out to bear Jackie Robinson’s signature on it!
“So, it went from being on the ground under a table and being sold for $1 to in the house pretty quickly,” Sue shared in an interview.
Wondering how such historical baseball bat found its way to the home of Sue? As it turned out, Sue’s uncle who was also a well-known baseball player was a good friend of Jackie Robinson. The two baseball athletes played for the Brooklyn Dodgers during their younger years.
“My uncle Joe Hatten played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was a left-handed pitcher and they called him Lefty Joe and he and Jackie played baseball together in the 40s,” Sue shared. And more than being teammates, Sue’s uncle Joe also chose to share a room with Jackie Robinson- despite the predominant racial discrimination back then.
You might be wondering just how much value does a Jackie Robinson bat has today? Well that is most likely to remain a question for Sue decided to keep the legendary baseball bat instead of selling it.
“We’re gonna keep it. I mean the stories with my uncle and him… It’s not going anywhere.” Sue explained, knowing that selling the baseball bat would mean disrespecting the friendship that bloomed between Jackie Robinson and her uncle, Joe Hatten.
Watch the video below and see for yourself how the priceless value of the Jackie Robinson bat was discovered, thanks to Bruce- an old man who did not let greed nor unselfish desires get in the way of revealing the truth!
Photos and Video | Kate Hurley