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1926 Urban Faber Chicago White Sox Contract
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $3,525
Four-page fold-over contract, dated December 8, 1925, between Urban "Red" Faber and the American League Baseball Club of Chicago, signed in black fountain pen (grading "8") by "Urban C. Faber." Also signed in black fountain pen ("10") by Ban Johnson in his capacity as American League president. The signature of White Sox owner Charles Comiskey on the contract is a stamped facsimile. The one-year agreement for the 1926 season calls for Faber to receive a salary of $10,000. Faber, who spent his entire twenty-year with the Chicago White Sox, was one of the top pitchers of his era. A four-time twenty-game winner, Faber twice led the American League in ERA and he was also the pitching star of the 1917 World Series, winning three games in the club's seven-game victory over the Giants. As fate would have it, a sore ankle kept Faber out of the infamous 1919 World Series, in which eight White Sox players conspired to "throw" the series. It was a bad break for Faber and an even worse break for the White Sox. As catcher Ray Schalk later remarked, "If Red had been able to pitch, I'm sure there would have been no Black Sox scandal." Faber, who was one of the last legal spitballers in baseball, won fifteen games in 1926 while playing under the terms of this contract. At that point the White Sox had fallen into the second division and Faber's record was more indicative of the team's woeful performance than his effectiveness on the mound. Faber retired in 1933 with 254 wins and a 3.15 ERA. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1964. Baseball contracts of Hall of Fame players, especially those dating from their respective playing careers (let alone dating from the 1920s), are rare and the offered example is no exception. This is the first Faber contract we have ever offered and we cannot recall having seen another at public auction. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds and a few minor creases. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $3,525
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