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Lot # 638: 1952 Pee Wee Reese Signed Brooklyn Dodgers Contract w/Copy of the Cover Letter (PSA)

Starting Bid: $500.00

Bids: 12 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Summer Classic 2022",
which ran from 8/28/2022 7:00 PM to
9/17/2022 10:00 PM

Pee Wee Reese 1952 Brooklyn Dodgers signed contract, together with a copy of the original cover letter in which general manager Buzzy Bavasi chastises Reese for his slump down the stretch in 1951. The four-page fold-over contract between "Harold Henry Reese" and the "Brooklyn National League Baseball Club, Inc." is dated January 6, 1952, and has been signed in black fountain pen by "Harold Henry Reese" and "EJ Bavasi" for the Dodgers. Both signatures are boldly scripted and grade 10/10. The one-year agreement for the 1952 season calls for Reese to receive a salary of $30,000. Reese batted .272 with 6 home runs, 58 RBI, and a career high 30 stolen bases in 1952 to help lead the Dodgers to the National League pennant for the first time in three years. The contract (8.5x11") remains in Excellent to Mint condition. 

Included with the contract is a one-page file-copy of the cover letter sent to Reese by Bavasi, which is dated December 26, 1951. Incredibly, Bavasi seems to blame Reese for the team not winning the pennant in 1951. In part: "I have been looking over the records recently and I don't understand just what happened to you during the last seven weeks of the season. It might be that our method of training caught up with you. Maybe it would be wise for you to take it easy this spring. I am certainly sorry that the club did not win, for we must all suffer to some extent, but maybe next year it will be brighter." The records show that Reese was batting .311 on August 16th, but he finished the year with an average of .286, a drop of 25 points. Still, Reese's final batting average that season represented a career high for him at the time and he also totaled a career high 84 RBI, which make Bavasi's comments all the more confusing. Perhaps it was simply a negotiating ploy. Reese was paid $30,000 the year prior and maybe this was Bavasi's rational for not giving him a raise. A handwritten pencil notation at the base of the letter reads "1/17/51 - 11:10 am Wage stabilization wire sent. See W. S. file." The copy letter (8.5x11"), which is written on onion skin, displays several moderate tears along the borders and staple holes along the top. Good condition overall. Full LOA from PSA. 

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