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1973 Harmon Killebrew Minnesota Twins Contract
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $3,525
Six-page contract, dated March 8, 1973, between Harmon Killebrew and the Minnesota Twins, signed in blue ink by both "Harmon C. Killebrew" (grading "10") and "Calvin R. Griffith" ("10"), owner of the team. Also signed by Joe Cronin ("9/10") in his capacity as American League president. The one-year agreement, for the 1973 season, calls for Jackson to receive a salary of $105,000. A special typed addendum indicates that Killebrew was to receive a bonus based upon home attendance figures: "In the event the Minnesota Twins ball club shall draw 1,100,000 in attendance at home during the 1973 season, player shall receive an additional $4,000." Killebrew's drawing power was based exactly upon that: power. One of the greatest sluggers in the history of the game, Killebrew led the American League in home runs on six separate occasions. He also totaled forty or more home runs in eight different seasons. Upon his retirement in 1975 Killebrew's career home-run total of 573 ranked fifth best all time and his lifetime home-run ratio of 14.2 placed him behind only Babe Ruth and Ralph Kiner. (He currently ranks eleventh and eighth, respectively, in those two categories today.) Killebrew missed most of the 1973 season on account of a knee injury, which accounts for his less-than-stellar totals of 5 home runs and 32 RBI that year. Unfortunately, Killebrew's absence from the lineup resulted in fewer fans in the stands and he failed to collect his bonus that season (the Twins season attendance was 907,499). Baseball contracts of Hall of Fame players, especially those dating from their respective playing careers, are rare and the offered example is no exception. Although Killebrew has parted with most of his collection, few contracts have surfaced on the open market. This is the first Harmon Killebrew contract we have ever offered and we can recall having seen only one other example at public auction. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds and is in Near-Mint condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $3,525
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