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1931 Hack Wilson Chicago Cubs Contract Signed by Wilson, Bill Veeck, and Branch Rickey
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $10,072.50
Four-page fold-over contract, dated February 2, 1931, between Hack Wilson and the Chicago National League Ball Club, signed in black fountain pen by both "Lewis R. Wilson" (grading "9") and "William L. Veeck" ("9"), as president of the club. Also signed by National League president John Heydler. The one-year agreement for the 1931 season calls for Wilson to receive a salary of $33,000. Wilson batted .261 with 13 home runs and 61 RBI in 1931, which was a precipitous drop off from his league-leading 56 home runs and all-time record 191 RBI the previous season. The Cubs, sensing that Wilson's best years were behind him, traded him with Bud Teachout to the St. Louis Cardinals for Burleigh Grimes on December 11, 1931. That transaction is noted in writing on this contract and has been signed once again in black fountain pen (grading "9/10") by both Veeck and Heydler in confirmation of the trade. St. Louis, in turn, then traded Wilson to the Brooklyn Dodgers for Bob Parham (minor-league player) and $45,000 on January 23, 1932. That second transaction is also noted in writing on the contract, with the transaction having been confirmed by both St. Louis president Branch Rickey and Heydler, each of whom has signed the contract in black fountain pen ("9/10") in their respective capacities. In summary, the contract has been signed by Wilson, twice by Veeck, three times by Heydler, and once by Rickey. Wilson obviously benefitted from the trade, as he bounced back with a solid year at the plate in Brooklyn, finishing the season with 23 home runs, 123 RBI, and a .297 average. During the mid to late 1920s Wilson was one of the most feared sluggers in the game. From 1926 through 1930 Wilson averaged 35.4 home runs and 141.5 RBI per season, including a Major League record 191 RBI in 1930. Unlike most power hitters, Wilson could also hit for average, and he finished his twelve-year career with a .307 lifetime batting mark. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1979. 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 Hack Wilson contract we have ever offered and over the years we have seen only one other example (a 1934 Brooklyn contract). The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds, a few minor edge tears, and light toning. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $3,000+.
SOLD FOR $10,072.50
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