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1955 Bob Lemon Cleveland Indians Contract (also signed by Hank Greenberg)
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $2,350
Four-page contract, dated January 24, 1955, between Bob Lemon and The Cleveland Baseball Company, signed in blue ink by "Robert Lemon" (grading "8/9") and "Hank Greenberg" ("9"), general manager of the team. Also signed by William Harridge ("10") in his capacity as American League president. The one-year contract, for the 1955 season, calls for Lemon to receive a salary of $45,000. Lemon won a league-leading eighteen games for the Indians in 1955. This contract was signed on the heels of the Indians' extraordinary record-setting 111-43 season in 1954, during which Lemon also led the league with twenty-three victories. One of the top pitchers of his era, Lemon won twenty or more games on seven different occasions and finished his thirteen-year career with 207 victories. His career winning percentage of .617 also puts him in good company, as it ties Cy Young for sixty-third on the all-time list of retired players. A seven-time All-Star participant, Lemon later went on to enjoy a successful managerial career, including a World Championship with the New York Yankees in 1978. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1976. Baseball contracts of Hall of Fame players, especially those dating from their respective playing careers, are rare and the offered example is no exception. This is the first Bob Lemon contract we have ever offered and we can only recall having seen two others. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds and two notebook holes along the left border; otherwise in Near Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $2,350
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