An innovator and pioneer at multiple levels, Hall of Fame executive Branch Rickey was the first to implement minor league “feeder” programs and later, of course, was credited with signing the first black player and introducing the batting helmet. In the former endeavor, Richey inked this St. Louis Cardinals 1931 “Uniform Player’s Contract.” The two-page thick stock document features printed legal details and typewritten specifics that secured the services of southpaw Al Grabowski for an annual stipend of “$5000.” On the appropriate line, Rickey has signed in black-ink fountain pen. The scripting projects (“8”) strength and clarity with slight ink migration preventing higher assessment. Just below, Grabowski has signed in black ink (“9-10” strength). In portions of two seasons in 1929 and 1930, Grabowski combined for a 9-6 mark with five complete games, two shutouts and three saves. The New York native was never again summoned by the parent club, however, as he combined for a hefty 4.79 ERA at Rochester and Columbus in 1931.
The document remains crisp with normal compacting folds. Auction LOA from JSA.