Known for launching circuit clouts at alarming rates, two Hall of Famers "went to bat" in a different capacity as they signed this 1957 Major League Player’s Contract. The glassine-like document calls for the transfer of both Earl D. Averill and William Harrell from the Pacific Coast League’s San Diego Padres to the Cleveland Indians. At the conclusion, the document is signed by the clubs' respective general managers Ralph Kiner (“9-10” strength) and Hank Greenberg (“9” strength). Full photo LOA from JSA. More on our website.
We know both Kiner and Greenberg, of course, for their playing days prowess that saw them realize home run totals at alarming rates. Their front office careers may have been less than stellar, but their blue-ink steel tip fountain pen signatures (especially paired in this unusual fashion) are among the most potent and appealing examples.
As for the subjects of this binding agreement, if the name “Averill” rings a bell, it’s because Earl D. Averill is the son of Hall of Famer “Howard Earl Averill.” While the younger player didn’t come close to his father’s achievements, his seven-year journeyman career was not without note. In 1958, he was named the Pacific Coast League’s Most Valuable Player. During the 1962 season with the Los Angeles Angels, he tied a Major League record by reaching base in 17 consecutive plate appearances (via hit, walk, fielder’s choice or error). Harrell, meanwhile, spent four seasons with Yankees and White Sox affiliates in the Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee League and never did make it to “the show.”
The contract, incidentally, was composed on August 30, 1957, is crease-free and presents beautifully.