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1922 Joe Kelley Twice-Endorsed New York Yankees Payroll Check
Starting Bid - $1,000.00 , Sold For - $11,162.50
Joe Kelley is one of the rarest of all Hall of Fame signatures. Presented is an extraordinary New York Yankees payroll check issued to Joe Kelley dating from his days as a scout for the New York Americans following his Major League playing career (which spanned the years 1891 to 1908). This is the only Joe Kelley signed check we have ever seen. Incredibly, it is endorsed twice by him on the reverse. The check, dated July 11, 1922, and drawn on the Yorkville Bank of New York, is made out to Kelley in the amount of $100 and is also signed in black fountain pen (grading “10”) by team-owner Jacob Ruppert. The team treasurer has countersigned the check along the left border. Kelley has signed the check twice on the reverse in blue fountain pen. One signature grades “9,” while the other displays a very slight amount of bleeding to his last name (this may have actually been the reason that he signed the check again) and grades “7” overall. The typed notation above his name reads “Advance account – July salary - $100.00.” Kelley, who was a star outfielder with the fabled Baltimore Orioles in the 1890s, was briefly working as a scout for the Yankees in 1922. Kelley died in relative obscurity in 1943 and wasn’t elected to the Hall of Fame until 1971. Autograph collectors have always placed a special premium on checks due to their inherent authenticity. Joe Kelley signed items in any form are seldom offered at public sale and represent a “holy grail” for many Hall of Fame autograph collectors. This piece offers not one, but two Kelley signatures on an ideal venue. The check (9 x 3.75 inches) displays two moderate diagonal creases as well as normal bank cancellation stamps and perforations. One of the creases and a bank stamp both touch upon the lesser of the two Kelley signatures. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. For a signed HOF check of this great rarity, it is impossible for us to provide a meaningful estimate. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000++. SOLD FOR $11,162.50
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