Lot 9073: Ted Williams 1960 Boston Red Sox Signed Player Contract (Last Season)
21st February 2019
Contract, signed “Theodore Williams,” four pages on two adjoining sheets, 8.5 x 11, March 1, 1960. Ted Williams's last contract, in which he agrees to render "skilled services as a baseball player during the year 1960" for the Boston Red Sox, for a salary of $60,000. Signed at the conclusion in ink by Ted Williams, "Theodore Williams"; American League President, former Red Sox Star, and fellow Hall of Famer Joe Cronin, "Joseph E. Cronin"; and Boston General Manager and fellow Hall of Famer Bucky Harris, "S. R. Harris." In fine condition. After a disappointing 1959 season in which Ted Williams hit .254 with ten homers, nearly everyone—including Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey—expected him to retire. However, the great hitter didn't want to end his career on a sour note, and opted to return for a swan song in 1960. In signing this deal, he insisted on taking a 30% pay cut because of his recent underperformance. In 1960, he had a far more successful season, batting .316 with 29 homers, earning a spot on the All-Star team by merit rather than recognition as he had the year before. The most memorable moment came in in his very last at-bat on September 28, 1960, when he fittingly hit a home run—the 521st of his career. As the capstone contract from the Ted Williams's legendary Hall of Fame career, this is a truly remarkable piece of baseball history.
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