1897 Ned Hanlon Signed Baltimore Orioles Player's Contract....
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|Auction Ended On:||Apr 24, 2009|
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Presented here is a player's contract for that Baltimore Orioles club, executed to bring ace hurler Bill Hoffer into the fold for the 1897 season. On a team swollen with Hall of Fame talent--McGraw, Jennings, Kelley, Keeler, Robinson--Hoffer was the top man on the mound, posting National League-topping winning percentages in both 1895 and 1896. This is apparently Hoffer's personal copy of the contract, as his own signature does not appear upon it.
But more importantly, Hanlon's does, applied with 10/10 perfection on the closing page. It must also be stressed that the rest of the handwriting on the contract, filling in blanks for the identities of the parties involved and issues of salary and payment dates, is likewise that of Hanlon himself. The four-page document survives in remarkably fine condition, with the lightest of age toning and insignificant bending at the edges all that might suggest eleven decades of existence. The scarcity of the autograph, the condition of the contract, and the added lustre of one of baseball's greatest dynasties--the 1890's Baltimore Orioles--makes this one of the most exciting baseball documents available in the hobby today. We expect the true baseball historian to bid accordingly. Auction LOA from James Spence Authentication.
Service and Handling Description: Flat Material, Small (view shipping information)