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1928 and 1929 Tony Lazzeri New York Yankees Contract
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $3,525
Four-page fold-over contract, dated April 10, 1928, between Tony Lazzeri and the American League Base Ball Club of New York, signed in purple ink by "Anthony Lazzeri" (grading "9") and in black fountain pen by "Jacob Ruppert" ("10"), owner of the Yankees. Also signed in black fountain pen ("9") by Ernest Barnard in his capacity as American League president. The two-year agreement, for the 1928 and 1929 seasons, calls for Lazzeri to receive an annual salary of $12,500. Lazzeri joined the Yankees in 1926 and for the next twelve years he remained a fixture at second base for the "Bronx Bombers." Always in the shadow of larger-than-life legends such as Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, and best remembered as one of the key members of 1927's "Murderers' Row" Yankees lineup, the soft-spoken Lazzeri always carried a "big stick" to the plate. "Poosh 'Em Up Tony" drove in over 100 runs on eight separate occasions (no small feat when one considers that for his first nine years he was batting behind Ruth and Gehrig) and he finished his career with a .292 average. Highly regarded in the field as well, Lazzeri helped lead the Yankees to six pennants and five World Championships during his twelve-year tenure with the club. Lazzeri recorded the two highest batting averages of his career while playing under the terms of this contract, batting .332 in 1928 and .354 in 1929. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1991. 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 Tony Lazzeri contract we have ever offered and we cannot recall having seen another. The fact that it dates from the Yankees 1928 World Championship season makes it especially desirable and one of the finest Lazzeri signed items we have ever encountered. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds and is in Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500+. SOLD FOR $3,525
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