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Lot # 879 (of 1866)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1928-1929 Jim Bottomley Signed St. Louis Cardinals Contract - MVP Season!

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $15,405

Four-page fold-over contract, dated February 27, 1928, between "Sunny Jim" Bottomley and the St. Louis National Baseball Club, signed in blue fountain pen by both "Jim Bottomley" (grading "9") and "Branch Rickey" (grading "9"), vice president of the Cardinals. Also signed on the front in black ink by "John A. Heydler" ("10") as National League President. This is a rare two-year agreement for the 1928 and 1929 seasons, and it calls for Bottomley to receive an annual salary of $11,000 for 1928 and $12,000 for 1929. The fact that Branch Rickey, who was know as a ruthless negotiator at contract time, agreed to give Bottomley a guaranteed raise following the 1928 season, regardless of how he performed that season, is itself a true testament as to how great a player Jim Bottomley was at that time. Rickey, as usual, wound up getting the bargain, as Bottomley batted .325 with league-leading totals in both home runs (31) and RBI (136). Those numbers not only helped the Cardinals capture the National League pennant, but also earned Bottomley MVP honors at season's end. 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. 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 only the second Bottomley contract we have ever offered or seen. The fact that it dates to his 1928 MVP season makes it especially significant and perhaps the most desirable example that could possibly exist as well. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds, along the edges of which are a few small tears, light toning, and a small area of light discoloration in the lower right corner. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $15,405


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