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1950 Dizzy Dean Signed New York Yankees Announcer Contract (Also Signed by George Weiss)
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $720
One-page contract, dated March 11, 1950, between Dizzy Dean and the New York Yankees, signed in black fountain pen (with very rarely seen full name signature!) by "Jerome H. Dean" (grading "10") and Yankees vice-president "George M. Weiss" ("10"). This one-year agreement, typed on official New York Yankees letterhead, calls for Dean to receive an annual salary of $20,000 for his services as the Yankees radio and television announcer. Additionally, Dean agrees to appear at various promotional events following the season (i. e., television and radio programs, speaking and dinner appearances, etc.), with the stipulation that Dean may keep all of the proceeds from such engagements provided he allow the Yankees to schedule all such appearances and also allow the club to arbitrarily accept or reject such appearance requests. Finally, the contract constitutes an option on Dean's services for the following year at an annual salary of $25,000. Dean had been the radio and television announcer for the St. Louis Browns since 1941, but the lure of the "Big Apple" and the Yankees' deeper pockets lured him to New York for the 1950 season. The club exercised its option for the 1951 season, but Dean had had enough of the big city and returned to St. Louis in 1952, where his Southern, homespun humor and annihilation of the English language played better. Later, in 1953, Dean became the lead color announcer on baseball's Game of the Week, a position he held through 1965. Dean was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1953. Weiss was elected as an executive in 1971. The contract (8.25 x 11 inches; typed on onionskin) displays six horizontal folds, two notebook holes along the top border, a paperclip impression, and a few minor creases and edge tears. In Very Good condition. Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $720
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