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Lot # 1011 (of 1673)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1971 Willie Foster Signed Tax Document (HOF 1996)

Starting Bid - $300.00 , Sold For - $1,057.50

1971 Wilson County, Tennessee, tax receipt, signed by Negro League great Willie Foster. The receipt, dated February 23, 1971, records the back taxes owed to the county by Mary Louise Ritter. The amount due, $27.45, was paid to the county by Willie Foster and he has signed this receipt along the bottom right corner to acknowledge his payment, “Pd in full by W. H. Foster.” Foster’s signature has been penned in blue ink and grades “10.” Foster, who was the half brother of Rube Foster, was one of the greatest pitchers in Negro League history. Although he never received as much attention as Satchel Paige, Foster was easily his equal on the mound. Foster began his career in 1923 and when he retired fifteen years later he did so as the Negro Leagues' career leader in wins (137). By comparison, Paige only won 129 games, despite playing six more years. Foster also compiled a record of 6-1 against white all-star clubs and was 11-10 in head-to-head games against Paige. Following his retirement from organized baseball, Foster sold insurance and also managed the Harlem Globetrotters for a short time. In the 1960s he joined the staff at Alcorn College in Mississippi, where he served as both baseball coach and dean of men. He held both positions until shortly before his death. Foster passed away in 1978, but wasn’t elected to the Hall of Fame until 1996, which accounts for the extreme rarity of his signature today. The document (8.5 x 7 inches) displays a horizontal fold and is in Excellent to Mint condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,057.50

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