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    Description

    1940-44 Curly Lambeau Signed Green Bay Packers Coach's Contract - Also Signed by Additional Hungry Five Members. The magical story of the storied town team begins when a young man named Earl Louis Lambeau took a job with the Indian Packing Company in Green Bay after he was forced to return home before his sophomore season at Notre Dame where he played for legendary Irish head coach Knute Rockne. Lambeau, who was also a notable gridiron star while in high school at Green Bay East, had a vision to bring pro football to the small Wisconsin city. On August 11, 1919, Lambeau met with the sports editor of the Green Bay Press Gazette newspaper George Calhoun, and after a discussion with his boss at Indian Packing Frank Peck, who agreed to provide the backing in exchange for use of the company name, the Green Bay Packers were born.

    The Packers joined the American Professional Football Association in 1921, and despite financial turmoil throughout the years, his star-studded squad won its first league championship in 1929. In seasons to follow, the Packers won additional league championships in 1936, 1939 and 1944. There was no question that the man better known as "Curly" was one of football's greatest pioneers, as he is credited with a series of practices and methods that would become commonplace in the NFL. But despite Lambeau's success, he also developed quite an ego. Along with his decision to spend $32,000 on Rockwood Lodge, the NFL's first off-site training facility, and the astronomical salary that he demanded, Lambeau caused a rift within the management in the in the mid to late 1940's. In fact, if it wasn't for a few upper management personnel who objected to his eccentric practices, Lambeau was poised to move the Packers out west, and they easily could have become part of the newly formed All-America Football Conference.

    A truly historic document that represents an era that quite possibly could have been the beginning of the end for professional football in Green Bay, here we present Curly Lambeau's original coaching contract for 1940 through the team's '44 league championship season.

    An absolutely remarkable artifact, which is unquestionably the type of piece that would not look out of place at the team's well-respected Hall of Fame, or the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the four-page onion paper document is signed by five of the most important figures of Packers folklore. Including numerous handwritten notes from team attorney and Hungry Five member G.W. Clifford, which were essentially made to extend his contract after the 1944 season, and allow Lambeau to receive a pay increase from $10,000 to a staggering $25,000 per season for five more years, it is also signed in near perfect ink by the following: E.L. "Curly" Lambeau (one of he largest and most beautiful signatures in existence from the team's co founder and coach); Lee Joannes (Packers president and member of the Hungry Five); Frank Jonet (bookkeeper for Acme Packing and receiver for Packers bankruptcy); Emil Fischer (Packers president of 1947); H.J. Bero (police chief, player of the 1919 Packers and 1935 original team board member). Please note, the original document features the Packers' corporate seal on the bottom left of the signed page, which is only seen on the most significant of franchise documents.

    Also included is an original (unsigned) Curly Lambeau contract extension document (1945-49) that was retyped by using his 1940-44 contract by a secretary in the 1940's and stored away in the Packers' files for many years. Overall, the contract exhibits moderate wear, with no major flaws of any kind. An advanced Green Bay Packers collector's dream, it will surely turn the heads of museums, Halls of Fame and historians alike. Full LOA from PSA/DNA.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2016
    12th-14th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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