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1950 Johnny Mize New York Yankees Contract
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $3,231
Four-page contract, dated January 26, 1950, between Johnny Mize and the New York Yankees, Inc., signed in blue ink by "John R. Mize" (grading "10") and in black ink by "George M. Weiss ("10"), general manager of the team. Also signed by William Harridge ("9") in his capacity as American League president. 1950 marked Johnny Mize's first full season with the New York Yankees. The Yankees purchased Mize's contract from the Giants in midseason of 1949, but an injury limited him to just thirteen games. The following season Mize provided the stability at first base the Yankees were missing. In ninety games the famed "Big Cat" batted .277 with 25 home runs and 72 RBI in helping lead the Yankees to their second consecutive World Championship. Mize was a key contributor off the bench for Stengel during the Yankees fabled 1949 to 1953 championship dynasty, leading the league in pinch hits in 1951, 1952, and 1953. One of the best all-around hitters of his era, Mize won one batting title, four home run titles, and three RBI titles during his fifteen-year career. He was also one of the few power hitters in history who was also an outstanding contact hitter, striking out fewer than fifty times in every season but one. Mize finished his career with 359 home runs, 1,337 RBI, and a .312 lifetime average. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1981. Baseball contracts of Hall of Fame players, especially those dating from their respective playing careers, are rare and the offered example is no exception. This is the first Mize contract we have ever offered and we cannot recall having seen another example. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds and a few minor creases. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $3,231
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