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Historic Contracts from Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Others Part of Geppi's Memorabilia Road Show October Auction

Remarkably unique contracts signed by no less than Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and other Hall of Fame Yankees, are among items from the Bert Padell Collection to be offered in an auction culminating October 27 through Geppi’s Memorabilia Road Show.

If you had to pick a year from which to own a DiMaggio contract, 1941 would likely be the one, and that is in fact, the contract available in the auction, the one from his MVP season of the 56-game hitting streak. The contract, signed by both DiMaggio and team President Ed Barrow, as well as American League president Will Harridge (all three are in the Hall of Fame), called for a salary of $37,500 for the ’41 season for Joe.

Padell also came into possession of the full collection of 1935 Yankee team contracts, each 4 pages long on 11" x 17" pages, and each signed by team owner Col. Jacob Ruppert. There are 29 player contracts plus a 3-year contract for manager Joe McCarthy, covering 1933-35. Hall of Famers included in the lot are Gehrig ($31,000), Tony Lazzeri ($12,000), Bill Dickey ($14,500), Lefty Gomez ($20,000) and Red Ruffing ($12,000).

There are two important Babe Ruth contracts being offered. They cover his autobiography and the movie based on his life, in which William Bendix played him. The book contract, with E.P. Dutton & Co., dated June 18, 1947, was signed by George H. Ruth, and called upon him to receive a $5,000 advance – half upon signing, half upon delivery and approval of the manuscript, which was written by Bob Considine. Ruth would then receive 75% of royalties, Considine 25%, with Ruth paying a 10% commission to his law firm.

The film contract, with Monogram Pictures Corp., was signed 20 days later, and included Claire Ruth in the agreement. They divided a $15,000 advance, and $12,500 one week after approval of the screen play, and then $30,000 once principal photography began. It is signed by both Babe and his wife and is an 8-page document.

Bert Padell, the "financial advisor to the stars" has counseled celebrities from DiMaggio to Robert DeNiro to Madonna to Britney Spears through his New York-based company, but was also a Yankee batboy, 1949-50, and is consigning the largest single collection since the Barry Halper Auction of 1999. (Halper is senior consultant to Geppi’s Memorabilia Road Show).

The auction, by phone, fax and email, will also include the Stanley Weston-Toby Weston Cone Collection of boxing memorabilia, which at one time made up the Boxing Hall of Fame in old Madison Square Garden, the Arthur Richman Collection, from the longtime sportswriter and club executive, the Tom Seaver "farewell to Mets fans" note, and consignments from Orioles great Brooks Robinson.

Geppi’s Memorabilia Road Show is unique in obtaining all consignments directly from sports insiders, notably players, their families or their representatives, or those who worked in the industry.

The company is headquartered at 1966 Greenspring Drive, Timonium, Maryland 21093. The telephone number is 877-ROAD-SHW. (877-762-3749). The website is

Source: Geppi’s Memorabilia Road Show
Date: August 22, 2005

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