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Lot # 744 (of 1512)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1965 Satchel Paige Signed Kansas City Athletics Contract - Oldest Player in Baseball History! Paige's Last Major League Player Contract

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $48,000

Presented is one of the most remarkable major league player contracts we have ever had the privilege of offering. This is a contract with a story! On September 25, 1965, Kansas City Athletics owner Charles Finley stole a page from Bill Veeck's promotional playbook by trotting out fifty-nine-year-old pitching legend Satchel Paige to start against the Boston Red Sox in the club's penultimate home game of the season. Prior to the game, Paige entertained the fans by sitting in a rocking chair out in the bullpen while being attended to by a nurse. However, as soon as the game started Paige showed why he was one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history. Paige allowed only one hit and no runs in his three innings of work, and although he wasn't involved in the decision (the A's lost the game 5-2), he made baseball history that day by becoming the oldest player to appear in a major league game.

Offered here is the very document that made that record possible. The four-page fold-over contract, dated September 10, 1965, between Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Athletics (Div. of Charles O. Finley & Co., Inc.) has been signed in blue ink by "Leroy Satchel Paige" and A's general manager Hank Peters, with both signatures grading "9/10." Also signed in blue ink ("9/10") by American League president Joe Cronin, who approved the contract on September 22, 1965. The one-year agreement calls for Paige to receive $4,000 for his services, which, as noted in a special covenant, was payable "over balance of the 1965 season." Paige was the greatest pitcher in Negro League history and one of the biggest gate attractions of his era. In 1972 he became the first African American player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Baseball contracts of Hall of Fame players, especially those dating from their respective playing careers, are rare and the offered example is no exception. The only other Satchel Paige signed playing contract, for a specified ball club, we are aware of is his 1939-1940 Puerto Rican League contract. This is the only Satchel Paige signed major league contract we have ever seen (Paige played for the Cleveland Indians and the St. Louis Browns between the years 1948 and 1953, though we are unaware of the survival of any signed player contracts from these years) and, needless to say, it is the first and only Satchel Paige major league player contract we have ever offered. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds and is in Excellent to Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $48,000

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