Four-page fold-over contract, dated June 19, 1945, between Charles "Red" Ruffing and the American League Baseball Club of New York, signed in black fountain pen by "Charles Ruffing" (grading "10"), "L. S. MacPhail" (“10”), President of the club, and American League president William Harridge. The one-year agreement calls for Ruffing to receive a salary of $19,000. Ruffing had spent the previous two summers pitching for Uncle Sam as the ace of a military team that played overseas to entertain the troops. After Germany surrendered in 1945, Ruffing was discharged because of his age (40 years old) and he immediately rejoined the Yankees in June to resume his major league career. Ruffing compiled a 7-3 record following his return, but without many of its other stars who were still serving in the military (including Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, and Tommy Henrich), the Yankees finished in fourth place in 1945. Ruffing eventually retired in 1947 with 273 wins. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1967. 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 just the second Ruffing contract we have ever offered and we have only seen three other examples at auction. The contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds and is in Near Mint condition overall. Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA. Pre certified by Steve Grad and Brian Sobrero/Beckett Authentication. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).
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