1949 Melvin Duncan Kansas City Monarchs Negro League Contract

Sold For: $960

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 1328

Item Year: 1949

Category: Autographed Baseballs/Flats/Photos

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Rare Negro American League contract between Melvin L. Duncan and the Kansas City Monarchs, dated March 15, 1949. The four-page fold-over agreement has been signed in blue ink (grading "9") by "Melvin Duncan" and in black ink ("9/10") by "T. Y. Baird," as president of the club. Also signed by a witness. The one-year contract calls for Duncan to receive $300 per month for the period "1st Sun. of May to Labor Day." Melvin Duncan played in the Negro American League with the Monarchs from 1949 to 1951, and again, briefly, in 1955. T. Y. Baird was a longtime associate of J. L. Wilkinson, who founded the Kansas City Monarchs in 1920. Baird served in many capacities with the Monarchs during his long tenure with the club, including booking agent, before buying out Wilkinson's interest following the 1948 season. It should be remembered that Jackie Robinson was a member of the Kansas City Monarchs before signing with Montreal in 1946. Baird was actually critical of Branch Rickey's' signing of Robinson at the time because the Monarchs were never compensated by the Dodgers for Robinson's contract. It was an affront that he never forgot. Negro League contracts are far scarcer than major league contracts, with this one of a only few examples we have handled over the past fifteen years. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds, with large tears along each fold line on the second sheet (one is complete, the other approximately sixty-percent). Approximate one-inch tears affect the fold lines on the first sheet. In Good to Very Good condition overall. Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate (open).


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