1956 George Kell Signed Chicago White Sox Contract

Sold For: $8,888

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 760

Item Year: 1956

Category: Baseball Contracts

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Four-page fold-over contract, dated December 12, 1955, between George Kell and the American League Baseball Club of Chicago, signed in blue ink by "George Kell" (grading "10") and "Charles A. Comiskey" as vice president. (Charles A. Comiskey II was the grandson of Hall of Famer Charles Comiskey; the Comiskey family owned the White Sox until 1959.) The signature of American League President William Harridge is ink-stamped. The one-year contract, for the 1956 season, calls for Kell to receive a salary of $40,000. Kell was traded to Baltimore on May 21, 1956, and the reassignment of this contract to Baltimore is duly recorded here. As such, it has been signed once again by Charles A. Comiskey and Will Harridge (stamped signature) in confirmation of that transaction. This was the penultimate contract of Kell's playing career, as he retired after the 1957 season. In total, Kell batted .271 with 9 home runs and 48 RBI in 1956. He finished his career with 78 home runs, 870 RBI, and a .306 lifetime average. One of the top defensive third basemen of his era and a ten-time All-Star, Kell was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983. 104 of Hall of Fame players are rare and the offered example is no exception. This is the first Kell contract we have ever offered and we cannot recall having seen any others 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 $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $8,888

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