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1972 Reggie Jackson Oakland Athletics Contract
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $4,406
Six-page contract, dated March 20, 1972, between Reggie Jackson and the Oakland Athletics, signed in blue ink by "Reginald M. Jackson" (grading "10") and in black ink by "Charles O. Finley" ("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 1972 season, calls for Jackson to receive a salary of $55,000. Contract negotiations between Finley and Jackson were always contentious affairs. The two had a huge dispute over Jackson's contract following his 1969 season, in which he hit forty-seven home runs and drove in 118 runs. Even though Jackson scored a $27,000 raise, he felt it was not enough and brooded after having signed it. An unhappy Reggie Jackson was seldom a productive one, and Jackson went on to have one of the worst seasons of his career. Finley, of course, was outraged and even tried to demote Jackson to the minors during the season but was thwarted in his attempt by commissioner Bowie Kuhn. Finley retaliated by cutting his salary the following season by $4,000. Knowing that the only way to get more money out of Finley was by producing on the field, Jackson bounced back in 1971, batting .277 and finishing second in the league in both home runs (32) and total bases (288) while also driving in eighty runs. Those numbers forced Finley to raise Jackson's salary by $22,000 and one can almost see Finley grimacing as he signed this agreement. This is perhaps the most significant Reggie Jackson Oakland A's contract in existence because it dates from the club's first of three consecutive World Championship seasons. Jackson batted .265 with 25 home runs and 75 RBI in 1972. All told, Jackson hit 254 of his 563 home runs with the A's and was unquestionably the greatest and most controversial player on the club during its fabled 1972 to 1974 dynasty. Jackson was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1993. 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 Reggie Jackson 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 Excellent to Mint condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000+. SOLD FOR $4,406
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