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1931 Jim Bottomley St. Louis Cardinals Contract
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $3,525
Four-page fold-over contract, dated January 28, 1931, between "Sunny Jim" Bottomley and the St. Louis National Baseball Club, signed in black fountain pen by both "Jim Bottomley" (grading "9") and "Branch Rickey" (grading "6," bleeding), vice president of the Cardinals. A stamped facsimile signature of National League president John Heydler appears on the reverse. The one-year contract, for the 1931 season, calls for Bottomley to receive a salary of $13,000. That amount must have been just fine with Bottomley, as he responded by batting .348 with 9 home runs and 75 RBI in 1935. Those numbers helped lead the Cardinals to their second consecutive pennant and an upset victory over the powerful Philadelphia A's in the World Series. Bottomley was one of the top hitters of his era, batting over .300 in nine of his first eleven seasons with the Redbirds between the years 1922 and 1932. Both a former home run and RBI champion, as well as the 1928 National League MVP, Bottomley finished his sixteen-year career with a .310 average, 219 home runs, and 1,422 RBI. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1974. Baseball contracts of Hall of Fame players, especially those dating from their respective playing careers (let alone from the 1930s), are rare and the offered example is no exception. This is the first Bottomley contract we have ever offered and we cannot recall having seen another. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds, a few small edge tears, minor creasing, and a tiny stain on the back page. In Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $3,525
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