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1920-1922 Herb Pennock Boston Red Sox Contract
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $2,938
Four-page contract, undated, between Herb Pennock and the Boston American League Baseball Club, signed in black fountain pen by both "Herbert J. Pennock" (grading "10") and "H. H. Frazee" ("10"), owner and president of the club. Also signed in black fountain pen by "E. G. Barrow" ("8/9"), as a witness (Barrow was manager of the Red Sox at the time), and "B. B. Johnson" ("9"), in his capacity as American League president. Although the contract is undated, Johnson approved the contract on April 29, 1920, indicating it had been signed by both parties shortly prior. The original contract was for one year and called for Pennock to receive $6,000 for the 1920 season; however, a typed addendum extends the contract and calls for Pennock to receive $6,500 for the 1921 season and $7,000 for the 1922 season. Frazee has signed the contract a second time (grading "9") in approval of the addendum. Herb Pennock took over the reigns as Boston's mound ace in 1919, following Babe Ruth's transition from pitcher to outfielder. Unfortunately, Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee was more interested in producing theatrical shows than winning ball games and he eventually traded Ruth, and most of his top stars to the Yankees over the next few years. Pennock remained with the Red Sox through the duration of this contract and then he too followed the exodus to the Bronx, where he blossomed into one of the greatest pitchers of the decade. Pennock twice won twenty or more games with the Yankees and helped lead the club to two World Championships in 1927 and 1928. He retired in 1934 with 241 wins and a 3.60 lifetime ERA. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1948, the year of his death. 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 Pennock contract we have ever offered and we can only recall having seen one other example. The contract (8.5 x 14 inches) displays three horizontal folds, along the edges of which are a few tiny tears. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000+. SOLD FOR $2,938
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