So, how did all of these documents make their way into private hands and why wouldn’t the Los Angeles Dodgers have retained these historic records in their organizational files?

The papers of Branch Rickey are presently part of the Library of Congress and they do not include the volume of his Brooklyn Dodger correspondence which is believed to have stayed with the Dodgers.

REA added that the letters “concern the potential recruitment of other black ballplayers by the Dodgers prior to Jackie Robinson’s historic Major League debut the following spring.” REA claimed that all of the letters originated from “the same remarkable Dodgers collection” without any further detail.

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In addition, REA and its partners Mastro Net and Mike Gutierrez sold two more letters in 20 which were written in 19 by Roy Campanella to Branch Rickey and Dodger official Al Campanis.

The auction house described one of the letters regarding a salary dispute as having “significant historical import to the famed executive who is most responsible for engineering the shattering of the color barrier in organized baseball.” That letter sold for $6,828 despite having no reference to the document’s provenance in the lot description.

The O’Malley family retains some correspondence received by the former Dodger owner but it is believed the bulk of his correspondence remained in the Dodger archive in Los Angeles.

Hauls of Shame presented copies of the suspect Dodger documents to one prominent baseball researcher who surmised, “The only reasonable conclusion is that these were pilfered from the Dodgers’ archives.” For several decades rumors and unverified stories have circulated throughout the hobby stating that the Los Angeles Dodger organization retained an archive of the Brooklyn Dodger team files ever since the club moved west in 1958.

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These three letters handwritten by Campanella, however, were not the only such suspicious internal Dodger documents to surface in the marketplace as REA referenced another 1946 Campanella scouting report of Larry Doby addressed to Branch Rickey which sold at Heritage Auctions for ,900 in 2013.

Heritage described the letter as “extraordinary” and “among the most important and desirable Heritage has ever had the privilege to handle.” Heritage also made no mention whatsoever of the provenance of the document.

What raised a red flag in 2014 was an online auction appearance of a trio of 1946 letters penned by Hall of Famer Roy Campanella which detailed the machinations of the Dodger’s earliest attempts to break baseball’s color barrier.