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1925 New York Yankees Check for the Purchase of Leo Durocher - Signed by Barrow and Ruppert
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $711
Original New York Yankees team check, dated August 5, 1925, issued for the purchase of future Hall of Fame shortstop and manager Leo Durocher. The check is made out to the "Hartford Baseball Club" in the amount of $5,000 and has been signed in black fountain pen by owner Jacob Ruppert (grading "10") at the base, and countersigned in blue fountain pen by general manager "E. G. Barrow" (grading "8") along the left border. The historical significance of the check is duly noted on the reverse in typed letters: "Final payment for release of player Durocher to the New York Club." It has been endorsed in black fountain pen "Hartford Baseball Club/Hartford Athletic Corp./for Deposit." The full purchase price for Durocher was $12,000, with this check, as noted, representing the final payment of the transaction. Durocher, who was twenty years old at the time, only appeared in two games with the Yankees in 1925, with his debut taking place on October 2nd against the Athletics. He then returned to the minors for further seasoning before rejoining the club full time in 1928. Durocher, who was a slick-fielding shortstop, but light hitter (Ruth called him "the All-American out") only remained with the Yankees for two seasons. A gambler both on and off the field, Durocher loved the nightlife and in his two short years with the club he had been living well above his means. According to reports, he found himself so deep in debt in the spring of 1930 that he asked the Yankees for a $1,000 raise, in advance, to help satisfy his creditors. Another factor working against Durocher was that he and Ruth did not get along. (Ruth accused Durocher of stealing money from his locker.) On February 5, 1930, the Yankees, tired of his brash behavior, sold Durocher's contract to the Cincinnati Reds for an undisclosed sum plus a player to be named, thereby ending his brief two-year stint with the Bronx Bombers. Four years later he found his true home among the members of the St. Louis Cardinals' fabled "Gas-House Gang," where he helped lead the club to a World Championship. Following his playing career he embarked on a successful and highly controversial managerial career that eventually resulted in his induction into the Hall of Fame in 1994. The check (9 x 3.25 inches) displays normal bank cancellation holes and stamps and is in Very Good to Excellent condition overall. Disclosure per section 13 of REA's terms and conditions: This lot has been consigned from the personal collection of an executive or employee of Robert Edward Auctions (or a relative of an executive or employee). LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $500++. SOLD FOR $711
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