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1950 Whitey Ford New York Yankees Rookie Contract
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $8,225
Four-page contract, dated July 1, 1950, between Edward "Whitey" Ford and New York Yankees, Inc., signed in blue ink by "Edward C. Ford" (grading "10") and "George M. Weiss ("10"), general manager of the team. Also signed by William Harridge ("9") in his capacity as American League president. The one-year contract, for the 1950 season, calls for Ford to receive a salary of $5,000. Whitey Ford signed with the Yankees in 1947, beginning his professional career with Butler in the Mid Atlantic League. Additional minor league stops included Norfolk, Binghamton, and Kansas City before the Yankees finally promoted him to the parent club in 1950. The "Chairman of the Board" made his Major League debut on August 1st and gave New York fans a foreshadowing of things to come by winning his first nine games, tying an American League record for rookies. After finishing the season with a 9-1 record, Ford continued to shine in the postseason, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 4 of the World Series. After missing the 1951 and 1952 seasons due to military service, Ford returned in 1953 and quickly became the Yankees mainstay on the mound during the club's "golden age" dynasty. Ford led the club to ten pennants and five World Championships between the years 1953 and 1964. An eight-time All-Star, Ford holds the record for consecutive scoreless innings in World Series play (32) and his career winning percentage of .690 still ranks as the top mark for any modern-day pitcher. Two twenty-game win seasons and a Cy Young Award in 1961 round out his impressive Hall of Fame resume. He retired in 1967 with 236 wins and a 2.75 ERA. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1974. Interestingly, this contract is not one of the examples that was sold by Whitey Ford at a special auction of his memorabilia held in 2008. This is the first Ford contract we have ever offered and the earliest we have ever seen, predating all of the other seven player contracts offered in the landmark 2008 Whitey Ford auction. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) is in Excellent to Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+. SOLD FOR $8,225
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