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1946 Larry Doby Signed Baseball Contract
Starting Bid - $400.00, Sold For - $580.00
Larry Doby 1946 player's contract with the San Juan Baseball Club of the the Puerto Rico Pro Base-Ball League, dated November 12, 1946 and signed "Larry E. Doby" ("9/10") in black ink. The fully executed contract is also signed by the President of the club, the President of the league, and a witness. Many stars of the Negro Leagues such as Larry Doby played year-round, and were willing to travel to wherever decent salaries for playing ball were available. This is a very significant contract from the dawn of integration. The Puerto Rico baseball league was an extremely high caliber Major League which attracted many American Negro League players during the off season. This contract calls for Doby to receive a salary of $75 per week for the length of the entire winter-league season. Just nine months after signing this contract, Larry Doby broke the color barrier in the American League, signing with Cleveland Indians in August 1947. Although he endured much of the same racial pressures and problems encountered by Jackie Robinson, who made his debut with the Dodgers just eleven weeks earlier, he did so with far less media attention than Robinson. As he later recalled: "You didn't hear much about what I was going through because the media didn't want to repeat the same story...I couldn't react to [prejudicial] situations from a physical standpoint. My reaction was to hit the ball as far as I could." Doby quickly made his presence felt in the American League and helped lead Cleveland to the 1948 World Championship. A seven-time All-Star selection, Doby finished his career with a .283 average, 253 home runs, and 970 RBI. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1998. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two filing holes at the top. Excellent condition overall. LOAs from James Spence/JSA and Steve Grad, Mike Gutierrez & Zach Rullo/PSA DNA. Reserve $400. Estimate $800/$1,200. SOLD FOR $580.00
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