The most significant document in Major League Baseball history is going up for auction for the first time.
Jackie Robinson's 1947 contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers that broke the color barrier will be auctioned off in November by Goldin Auctions with the help of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, company president Ken Goldin told ESPN.com on Wednesday.
Goldin said the document is the only original that exists, with the Dodgers and Major League Baseball saying they don't have a copy.
The consignor, Collectors Cafe, which bought the document in 2013 for an undisclosed sum, had the 1947 contract as well as Robinson's 1945 Montreal Royals (a Dodgers minor league affiliate) contract appraised by rare document expert Seth Kaller in 2015 at a total value of $36 million.
"These contracts cannot simply be described or valued as sports documents," Kaller wrote in his appraisal at the time. "Their effect on American history, and even the world, transcends the bounds of sports. Jackie Robinson's contracts are documents of freedom in the same vein as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Emancipation Proclamation."
The 1947 document, signed on April 11 by Robinson, Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey and Major League Baseball commissioner Ford Frick, was for $5,000 that season. Robinson went on to win Rookie of the Year.
The contracts were originally owned by Robinson but eventually became the possession of the Brooklyn Historical Society. A hedge fund manager purchased the documents, according to Goldin, and Collectors Cafe bought them from his estate.
The bidding will start online in October and conclude on Nov. 16 at the Jackie Robinson Museum in Manhattan. Ten percent of the purchase price will be donated to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
The record for the highest price ever paid for a sports document is the $4.3 million for James Naismith's Rules of Basketball, purchased in 2010. The highest price for a sports contract was the $2.3 million paid in July for one of two original copies of Babe Ruth's contract that sold him to the Red Sox in 1919.
As far as historical documents go, George Washington's copy of the U.S. Constitution and a draft of the Bill of Rights sold for $9.8 million in 2012.