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1954 Hall of Famer Signed "Robert Gould Company" Contract Collection: Speaker, Hubbell, Cochrane, Grove, and Frisch
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $948
Collection of five one-page contracts, dating from either 1954 or 1955, between the Robert Gould Company and, respectively, Tris Speaker, Carl Hubbell, Mickey Cochrane, Lefty Grove, and Frankie Frisch. Each contract has been signed by the respective player in blue ink, with the exception of Frisch (black ink), and by Robert Gould as owner of the company. All of the signatures are boldly scripted and grade "10." These contracts, which are identical in wording, grant the Robert Gould Company and its successors the exclusive and irrevocable right to reproduce each player's likeness in any form of statue or bas relief and to use his name in connection with said statue or bas-relief. In exchange, each player would receive an advance of $100, in cash or merchandise, as an advance against royalties of 5% of the gross income received by the Robert Gould Company from the sale of his likeness. Furthermore, the agreement shall remain in full force and effect for a period of one year and shall be automatically renewed from year to year thereafter, at the company's option, provided that the player receives at least a total payment in the sum of $250 for the contract year. Interestingly, the Robert Gould Company did produce a set of twenty-eight plastic statues of various baseball players in 1955; however, none of the players represented here was included. (The set is officially known as the "1955 Robert Gould All-Stars Statues.") All of the issued statues were of then-current ballplayers. It appears very likely that a second series was planned featuring old timers. If so, it never came to fruition, leaving these contracts as the only tangible evidence of that non-issued series. Collectors may also be familiar with the cards (W605 - "1955 Robert Gould All Stars Cards") that accompanied the statues when issued. (The cards are actually more valuable, in part because the small plastic statues survive more easily than the cards. The 2011 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards lists an aggregate price of $8,500 for the card set in Near Mint condition, and $1,500 for a complete Near Mint set of statues.) The contracts (7.5 x 9.5 inches) display two notebook holes along the top border, two horizontal fold lines, and a staple hole in the upper left corner. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$800. SOLD FOR $948
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