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1927 Zack Wheat Philadelphia Athletics Contract
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $2,644
Four-page fully executed contract, dated January 19, 1927, between Zack Wheat and the American Base Ball Club of Philadelphia, signed in black fountain pen by "Zack D. Wheat" (grading "9"), in blue fountain pen by "John D. Shibe" ("10"), vice-president of the club, and in black fountain pen by Ban Johnson ("9"), in his capacity as American League president. The one-year agreement, which bears the Philadelphia A's team seal and has been duly witnessed, is for the 1927 season and calls for Wheat to receive a salary of $12,500. This is a highly significant Zack Wheat contract in that it marks both his final year in the Major Leagues and his only season with the Philadelphia A's. Wheat, who was one of the greatest all-around outfielders of his day, played his first eighteen Major League seasons with Brooklyn and helped lead the club to two National League pennants during that span. After being released by Brooklyn following the 1926 season Wheat signed on with Connie Mack's Philadelphia A's, where he joined another displaced future Hall of Famer in the outfield by the name of Ty Cobb. Like Cobb, Wheat had something to prove and he responded to the challenge by batting .324 in 88 games. It was a fitting ending for one of the game's most accomplished players. Wheat batted over .300 on fourteen separate occasions, including a league-high .335 in 1918, and he finished his career with a .317 average. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1959. 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 Zack Wheat contract we have ever offered and we cannot recall having ever seen another. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds and toning on the back page. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $2,644
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