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    1942 Joe DiMaggio Signed New York Yankees Contract. An American League Most Valuable Player Award for 1941, a season still fondly remembered almost seven decades later for the Yankee Clipper's famous fifty-six game hitting streak, gave DiMaggio no shortage of bargaining power when it came time to negotiate a salary for 1942. One will note that there are two unsigned contracts here, each denoting a salary of $40,000 for the approaching season, and a third, fully executed model with a $43,750 price tag.

    It's important to remember that this contract negotiation had been a particularly rancorous one, and one that was debated in the sports pages of the day. Anticipating financial downturns as a result of the country's entrance into the World War II fray, the Yankees asked DiMaggio to take a pay cut. When DiMaggio refused, the Yankees management publicly attacked their superstar's patriotism. Suddenly one of the most popular players in the game was hearing boos both on the road and at home, clearly a factor in his decision to enlist at the close of the season.

    The executed contract is the typical Uniform Player's Contract used throughout the years by Major League Baseball. This one is dated March 12, 1942 and signed by both DiMaggio and Yankee president Ed Barrow, as well as a witness. All autographs are Mint, and the contract has two filing punch holes and original storage folds, otherwise no flaws to note. The contracts for $40,000 are unsigned but otherwise identical. Auction LOA from James Spence Authentication.

    Though they stood as warring Generals, like U.S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, on opposing sides of baseball's greatest rivalry, Ted Williams once admitted, "DiMaggio was the greatest all-around player I ever saw. His career cannot be summed up in numbers and awards. It might sound corny, but he had a profound and lasting impact on the country." During the 1940's there was no greater baseball hero than the Yankee Clipper, and arguably no more famous celebrity in any field of endeavor. Few figures are quite so assured an enduring position in twentieth century American history and, as such, the documents that follow are as worthy of placement within the Smithsonian Museum in Washington as in the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown. Recently located in a forgotten archive of legal documents, the contracts presented in the lots that follow make their hobby debut here.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    1st-2nd Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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