Lot 9083: Steve Carlton 1966 Puerto Rico Winter League Signed Player Contract
21st February 2019
Contract in Spanish, signed “Steven N. Carlton,” four pages on two adjoining sheets, 8.5 x 11, October 17, 1966. Professional Baseball League of Puerto Rico contract in which "Steve Carlton, a citizen of US," agrees to "provide efficient and loyal services as a baseball player during the season of 1966-1967" for the Deportistas Ponceños Inc., Ponce, baseball club, for a monthly salary of $700 plus $300 for living expenses. Signed on the second page in fountain pen by Carlton and the team president, and countersigned on the third page by the team president and an official of the Puerto Rico Baseball League. In fine condition, with some scattered staining, heaviest to the tops of the pages. In Thomas E. Van Hyning's book Puerto Rico's Winter League: A History of Major League Baseball's Launching Pad, he discusses Carlton's time with Ponce: 'For Carlton, 1966–67 was his second winter with Ponce. According to his manager, Tite Arroyo, and team owner Yuyo Gonzalez, he improved tremendously from one season to the next…'Carlton frequently told me how much the Puerto Rico Winter League meant to him,' Arroyo later recalled. 'He didn't even know how to get ready on the mound with men on base. All the runners got to second easily. He didn't pivot properly. We worked on that.' Carlton's hard work in Puerto Rico paid off—he holds the career record for pickoffs with 144, by far the most since Major League Baseball began keeping the stat in 1957.
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