A year removed from the sandlots of Little Rock, Brooks Robinson honed his future Hall of Fame talents for the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League. It was during the 1956 campaign at San Antonio where “Robby” spent the longest portion of a minor league season manning the “hot corner”. As the star prospect of the Baltimore Orioles farm system, Brooks was the youngest player for the Missions. Coincidentally, his oldest teammate would also eventually be enshrined at Cooperstown, former Negro League great Willard Brown. Bush League game-worn artifacts from the 1950s are particularly difficult. However, such material that was used by a Hall of Famer is nearly impossible to find in any condition.
Purchased by our consignor directly from Brooks Robinson, the offered 1956 San Antonio Missions Brooks Robinson cap is an extraordinary artifact that represents the earliest known professional game-worn item of the “Human Vacuum Cleaner”! The one-of-a-kind Texas League relic displays a combination of extensive wear including soiling throughout the outer crown, sweatband and green underbill consistent with prolonged game usage. The uniform number 17 is inscribed on the underbill in ink amidst apparent sweat staining. The brim was curved by a minor league Brooks resulting in moderate separation to the bill’s paperboard interior. All six eyelets are well-formed and present. Additionally, the Missions team logo is tightly stitched with only minor stitch fraying.
This unique item has remarkable provenance. Included are 1.) a signed LOA from Brooks Robinson notating he used this cap for the entire season and 2.) a photograph of Mr. Robinson holding the cap. This item has a reserve. Estimated value ($5000+).