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1963 Willie Stargell Signed Pittsburgh Pirates Rookie Contract
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $11,850
Four-page fold-over rookie contract, dated October 1, 1962, between Willie Stargell and the Pittsburgh Athletic Co., Inc., signed in blue ink by "Wilver Dornel Stargell" (grading "9") and "Joe L. Brown" general manager. Also signed in black ink by Warren Giles ("9") as National League President. The one-year contract, for the 1963 season, calls for Stargell to receive a salary of $6,000. 1963 marked Willie Stargell's first full season in the majors. Playing in both the outfield and at first base, Stargell batted .243 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI in 108 games. Over the course of the next few seasons Stargell blossomed into one of the game's top sluggers. From 1964 through 1976 Stargell hit twenty or more home runs per season, including league-leading totals of 48 and 44, respectively, in 1971 and 1973. He also led the Pirates to two World Championships in his twenty-one seasons spent with the club. Stargell retired after the 1982 season with 475 home runs, 1,540 RBI, and a .282 lifetime average. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1988, his first year of eligibility. 104 of Hall of Fame players are rare and the offered example is no exception. This is the first Stargell contract we have ever offered and we cannot recall having seen any others at public auction. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds and is in Excellent to Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $11,850
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