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    1884 Union Association Base Ball Contract--Only Example Known! Federal League (1914-15) material is very tough. Player's League (1890) is tougher still. But artifacts from the Union Association, essentially little more than a brief flight of fancy of a young St. Louis millionaire named Henry Lucas, has them both beat by a country mile. While the Union Association is conventionally listed as a Major League, historians debate this status due mainly to the markedly inferior talent compared to the National League and National Association against which it competed. Such arguments do not, however, diminish the intense desirability and collectibility of Union Association memorabilia.

    Executed in October of 1883, this player's contract secures the services of first baseman Charles Levis for the single season of the Union Association's existence. Or, at least, it appears to do so, as records show that Levis did not in fact play for the Chicago Union BB Club, as this contract indicates, but rather the Baltimore Monumentals, with which he batted a middling .228. It is unclear how or why this contract was negated. The impressive four-page document dictates a salary of twelve hundred dollars, and is signed at the close by Levis, the team president and the team's manager. The cover of the contract is signed by William Warren White, a Civil War vet who served as secretary of the Union Association. The ancient document exhibits fold line wear with minor separation and scattered staining, but such minor concerns must be forgotten in light of its "population one" status. Completely unfolded, the document measures 14x17".

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    Auction Dates
    November, 2011
    10th-11th Thursday-Friday
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