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1944 Chief Bender Philadelphia A's Contract
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $1,293
Four-page fold-over contract, dated May 3, 1944, between Albert "Chief" Bender and the American Base Ball Club of Philadelphia, flawlessly signed in blue ink (grading "10") by "'Chief' C. A. Bender" and in black ink ("10") by "Connie Mack." The front of the contract has also been signed in black ink ("10") by William Harridge in his capacity as American League President. The one-year agreement calls for Bender to serve as a scout for the A's during the 1944 season at a salary of $3,900. Baseball contracts of Hall of Fame players are rare and the offered example is no exception. This is the first Bender contract we have ever offered and we cannot recall having seen another at public auction recently. One of the finest pitchers of his era, Bender won 212 games, against only 127 losses in this sixteen-year career. Perhaps the greatest testament to his pitching ability was that offered by A's manager Connie Mack, who chose Bender, over eventual 300 game-winner Eddie Plank, as his Game 1 starter in each of the club's four World Series appearances between the years 1910 and 1914. Bender was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1953, just one year prior to his passing. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds and is in Excellent overall condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $1,293
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