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Description1941 Joe DiMaggio Signed Uniform Player's Contract. On May 15, 1941, it begins. The Yankees are massacred at The Stadium by a tally of thirteen to one, the only run for the home team delivered by a DiMaggio single against White Sox pitcher Eddie Smith. Joltin' Joe would hit safely the next day. And the next. And the next. Weeks pass and the streak continues. On June 8th, DiMaggio clubs three homers in a doubleheader in St. Louis. A lucky bounce and a friendly scorekeeper on June 17th extends the streak to thirty. Browns pitcher Bob Muncrief refuses manager Luke Sewell's call to walk DiMaggio in his last at bat in the thirty-sixth game, with predictable results. "That wouldn't have been fair to him or to me," Muncrief explains. "Hell, he's the greatest player I ever saw."
Leading with one man on and one out in the bottom of the eighth of game thirty-eight, Tommy Henrich bunts to assure no double play, and one last chance for DiMaggio. He doubles, and the crowd roars. A thief absconds with DiMaggio's favorite bat between games forty-one and forty-two of a doubleheader, rattling the star centerfielder. Tommy Henrich offers his bat for DiMaggio's last plate appearance. His slap hit to left field eclipses George Sisler's American League record. Two games later he ties Wee Willie Keeler's Major League record, and surpasses it the next day in dramatic fashion with his eighteenth homer of the year.
A small ransom is paid to the Newark, New Jersey bat thief and DiMaggio connects on the first swing with his old friend for a home run on July 5th, game forty-six. Every day throughout the city of New York, and across the nation, the question is asked, "Did he get one?" The answer remains "Yes" until July 17th at Cleveland's League Park, when a pair of acrobatic plays by Indians third baseman Ken Keltner puts an end to a fifty-six game consecutive streak unequalled to this day.
For millions of Americans, the mention of the year 1941 brings to mind just two events-the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the Joe DiMaggio streak. Presented is arguably the most noteworthy artifact of the latter, the four-page Uniform Player's Contract which secured the services of the Yankee Clipper for this unforgettable American League MVP season. In fact, there are two contracts within this lot, first an unsigned version stipulating a salary of $30,000, and a second revised to $37,500 signed twice by Hall of Fame team president Ed Barrow and once by the great DiMaggio. All ink survives with unimprovable boldness, and each contract exhibits original storage folds and filing punches at top edges but no problems to note. A piece unequivocal in its excellence, worthy of a position of honor in even the finest of private collections. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.
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