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1966 Hank Aaron Atlanta Braves Signed Contract and Addendum - First Season in Atlanta!
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $5,036
Four-page fold-over contract, dated February 10, 1966, between Hank Aaron and the Atlanta Braves, Inc., signed in blue ink by both "Henry L. Aaron" (grading "9") and "John J. McHale" ("7"), general manager of the club. The contract has also been signed in black ink ("10") by Warren Giles in his capacity as president of the National League. The one-year agreement calls for Aaron to receive a salary of $70,000. Accompanying the contract is a two-page supplemental agreement that calls for Aaron to receive a sum of $20,000, in addition to his salary, payable in subsequent years: "Payment of such amount shall be made in cash over a period of ten (10) years, in substantially equal consecutive semi-monthly installments. The first such installment shall be payable on (a) the 1st day of the month following termination of your employment for any reason or (b) July 1, 1976, whichever day is the latter." 1966 marked the Braves' first year in Atlanta and the club obviously wanted to keep its best player happy. Aaron certainly found Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium to his liking, as he led the National League in both home runs (44) and RBI (127) in 1966. Aaron hit 335 of his then-record 755 home runs during his nine seasons in Atlanta, averaging 37 home runs per year over that span. Given that production, this contract, even with its deferred payment, was a bargain for the Braves, especially in light of today's market. 104 of Hall of Fame players, especially those dating from their respective playing careers, are naturally extremely rare and desirable. The offered contract, by virtue of its dating from the inaugural season in Atlanta and the inclusion of the addendum, as well as the outstanding season it represents for Aaron, is certainly one of the finest of the few examples in existence. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays normal horizontal folds and a number of staple holes in the upper left corner. In Excellent to Mint condition. The two-page addendum (8.5 x 11 inches) displays one vertical and two horizontal folds, as well a minor creasing and staple holes. In Excellent condition overall. Both the contract and addendum have been matted and framed together, along with 1969 and 1970 Topps baseball cards of Aaron, to total dimensions of 37 x 17.5 inches (the display features glass panels on both the front and reverse, so all pages of the contract and addendum can be viewed in their entirety). LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $3,000+. SOLD FOR $5,036
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