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1930 Lefty Grove Signed Philadelphia A's Contract - Triple-Crown Season!
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $47,400
Four-page fold-over contract, dated February 21, 1930, between Lefty Grove and the American Base Ball Club of Philadelphia, signed in blue fountain pen by "Robert M. Grove" (grading "10"), "John D. Shibe" ("9") as president, and a witness. Also signed on the front in black ink by E. S. Barnard ("9") as American League President. The one-year contract, for the 1930 season, calls for Grove to receive a salary of $12,000. Grove posted one of the greatest seasons of his career in 1930, winning the Triple Crown of pitching by virtue of his league-leading totals in wins (28), ERA (2.54), and strikeouts (209). The following season he did it again, making him one of only seven pitchers in history to accomplish the feat more than once. Bill James has long argued that Lefty Grove was the greatest pitcher in the history of the game. Without fostering a debate on sabermetrics, we will agree with him, convinced by the obvious merits of Grove's numbers: 300 wins, a .680 winning percentage (best for any Hall of Fame pitcher), nine ERA titles, 2,266 strikeouts, and six twenty-win seasons. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1947. Contracts of Hall of Fame players are rare and the offered example is no exception. This is the first Lefty Grove contract we have ever offered and we can only recall seeing one other at auction (Grove's 1931 contract sold for $13,145 in 2010). This is also a particularly significant year for Grove, as his twenty-eight victories led the Philadelphia Athletics to their second of three consecutive pennants with a record of 102 wins and 52 losses. In the 1930 World Series, the Athletics defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in six games. This was the A's final World Series championship in Philadelphia. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds and a small crease in the upper right corner. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $47,400
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