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Lot # 1019 (of 1743)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1973 Rollie Fingers Oakland Athletics Contract with Mustache Addendum!

Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $2,350

Six-page contract, dated March 2, 1973, between Rollie Fingers and the Oakland Athletics, signed in black ink by "Rolland Fingers" (grading "10") and "Charles O. Finley" ("10"), owner of the team. Also signed by Joe Cronin ("8") in his capacity as American League president. The one-year agreement, for the 1973 season, calls for Fingers to receive a salary of $45,000. Rollie Fingers was one of the most famous members of the Oakland Athletics' 1972 to 1974 World Championship dynasty, but not just for his superb mound performance. Like other members of the A's, Fingers sported a mustache. Unlike his teammates, however, Finger's mustache was of the "handlebar" variety; an anachronistic style in stark contrast to the fashion mores of the times. The mustache became a trademark feature for Fingers and one that he kept for the remainder of his baseball career. Today it remains perhaps the single most recognizable physical characteristic of any player in history. Finley, always the iconoclast, loved the idea of his players wearing mustaches, and even offered them bonuses to maintain them. In Fingers' case, Finley offered a different incentive. A special covenant of this contract states that in addition to his salary Fingers is to also receive "one year's supply of the very best mustache wax available." When it came to paying his players for their performance on the field Finley had a deserved reputation of being a miser. But, as this contract clearly shows, when it came to promotion and showmanship, Finley was more than willing to open up the purse strings. Fingers fashioned a 7-9 record with 22 saves while posting a 1.92 ERA in 1973. One of the greatest relief pitchers of his day, Fingers retired in 1985 with a then record 341 saves and 2.90 ERA. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1992. 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 Fingers contract we have ever offered and we cannot recall having seen another offered at auction. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) is in Excellent to Mint condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $400+. SOLD FOR $2,350

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