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Lot # 735 (of 1512)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1919 Frank Baker Signed New York Yankees Contract

Starting Bid - $2,500, Sold For - $9,600

Presented is one of the most extraordinary Major League player contracts we have ever had the privilege of offering: a four-page fold-over contract, dated April 2, 1919, between Frank Baker and the American League Base Ball Club of New York, signed in black fountain pen by "L. Franklin Baker" (grading "7") and "Jacob Ruppert ("7"). Also signed in black ink (grading "8") by American League president Ban Johnson. It is extremely rare to find such an early player contract for any Hall of Famer, let alone one of the stature of Frank "Home Run" Baker. The one-year agreement for the 1919 season calls for Baker to receive a salary of $2,000 per month. A special clause in the contract stipulates that Baker is to receive a $1,000 bonus as well. Baker who was the most prominent member of Connie Mack's fabled "$100,000 infield," earned his famous sobriquet, "Home Run Baker," in the 1911 World Series by virtue of his two game-winning home runs in Games 2 and 3. 1911 also marked the first of four consecutive seasons in which he led the American League in home runs. Baker batted .293 with a team-high 10 home runs and 83 RBI in 1919, which was his fourth season in New York. He retired with the Yankees in 1922, finishing his career with a .307 lifetime average, 96 home runs, and 987 RBI (lofty totals during baseball's dead-ball era). He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955. Contracts of Hall of Fame players are rare and the offered example is no exception. This is the very first Frank Baker contract we have ever handled and we are aware of only one other. The contract (8.5 x 14 inches) displays three horizontal folds, along the ends of which are a few minor tears. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $9,600

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