The vast majority of sports fans will never get to sign a professional contract like Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron or Whitey Ford did. A few lucky fans will get to own those contracts, however.
RR Auction is posting a number of signed Major League Baseball contracts for bidding, including those for Mantle, Aaron and Ford.
Aaron’s contract, the bidding for which is expected to exceed $10,000, is particularly noteworthy as he signed it the year he broke Babe Ruth’s career home run record.
From RR Auction:
“Contract, signed ‘Henry L. Aaron,’ five pages on three adjoining sheets, 8.5 x 11, December 19, 1973. National League uniform player’s contract in which Hank Aaron agrees to render ‘skilled services as a baseball player during the year 1974’ for the Atlanta Braves, for a salary of $220,000. Signed at the conclusion in ink by Hank Aaron, National League President Chub Feeney, and Atlanta Braves owner William Bartholomay.”
Mantle’s contract, which he signed in 1953, could go for more than five times as much as Aaron’s, which is even more noteworthy because the deal only paid The Mick $17,500 for the season. Adjusted for inflation, the salary is the equivalent of $168,000 in 2020.
In 1963, Mantle was finally given a $100,000 contract, nearly $838,000 in today’s money.
Bidding runs through June 10 on all of the items.
Signed contracts for Bob Feller, Rod Carew, Harmon Killebrew, Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton are also available, as well as a Lou Gehrig-signed paystub from 1927.