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Lot # 966 (of 1866)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1958 Roy Campanella Signed Brooklyn Dodgers Contract - Final Contract of his Career!

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $32,588

Four-page fold-over contract, dated January 2, 1958, between Roy Campanella and the Brooklyn National League Baseball Club, Inc., signed in blue ink by "Roy Campanella" (grading "9") and "E. J. Bavasi" ("10"), as vice president of the club. The one-year agreement calls for Campanella to receive a salary of $42,000. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to all parties at the time, this document represents the final contract of Campanella's storied career. Shortly afterwards, on January 28th, Campanella was injured in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the neck down. Given the fact that it was the off-season, and only twenty-six days had elapsed, this contract is probably one of the last items Campanella ever signed prior to his tragic accident (after the injury he could only sign with the help of mechanical aids). Contracts of Hall of Fame players are rare and the offered example is no exception. This is the only the third major league contract of Campanella's we can recall seeing at auction, and the first we have ever offered (a few minor-league and winter-league contracts are also known). A three-time National League MVP, Campanella was considered one of the greatest catchers of his era. He was already a star in the Negro Leagues when Rickey recruited him shortly after Jackie Robinson to join the Dodgers organization. When Buffalo Bisons manager Paul Richards, a former catcher himself, saw Campanella play against his club in the minors, he immediately declared him to be "the best catcher in the business - major or minor leagues." The Dodgers felt the same way and in 1948 he was promoted to the parent club, where he helped lead the team to five pennants and one World Championship over the next ten seasons. He was eventually elected to the Hall of Fame, in 1969. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds and a rectangular area of light toning on the front that is the result of its having been in extended contact with a period document; otherwise in Near Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+. SOLD FOR $32,588

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