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1938 Lloyd Waner Pittsburgh Pirates Contract
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $3,819
Four-page fold-over contract, dated February 23, 1938, between Lloyd "Little Poison" Waner and the Pittsburgh Athletic Company, signed in black fountain pen by "Lloyd J. Waner" (grading "10") and in blue fountain pen by "Wm. E. Benswanger" ("10"), general manager/treasurer of the club. Ford Frick has also signed the contract ("7") in his capacity as president of the National League. The one-year agreement for the 1938 season calls for Waner to receive a salary of $11,000. As one half of the greatest brother tandem in baseball history, Lloyd burst upon the baseball season in 1927 by batting .355 in his rookie season. Teaming with his older brother, Paul, in the Pittsburgh outfield, Lloyd enjoyed fourteen highly successful seasons with the Pirates, batting over .300 on ten separate occasions. In addition to being an outstanding hitter, Lloyd was also almost impossible to strike out. In eighteen seasons he struck out only 173 times, including a record low of eight in 1933 (for an outfielder with 500 or more at bats). His ratio of one strikeout per 44.9 at bats is the second best mark in Major League history. Waner batted .313 with 5 home runs and 57 RBI in 1938. He retired in 1945, finishing his career with a lifetime average of .316. In 1967 he joined his brother Paul as a member of Baseball's 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. This is the first Lloyd Waner contract we have ever offered and we can only recall having one other at public auction (and that was a post-playing career scout contract). The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds, a few edge tears, and some light creases. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $3,819
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