Having paced the National League in at-bats for three successive seasons (1925-1927), Chicago Cubs infielder Earl “Sparky” Adams was dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Hall of Famer KiKi Cuyler. This contract was drawn up to secure Adams for the 1929 season. Measuring 8-1/2 x 11”, the uniform player’s contract has printed legal text divided into sections labeled “Recital,” “Salary,” “Loyalty,” “Service,” “Assignment,” “Termination” and “Regulations.” There are blank lines to facilitate specifics, such as Adams’ “$9,000” annual stipend. On the second page, the binding document is signed in black-ink steel tip fountain pen by Adams (d.1989) and by legendary Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss (d.1932). On the reverse are the signatures of National League President John Heydler (d.1956) and by Pirates treasurer Sam Dreyfuss (d.1931). All of the stunning endorsements project (“9-10”) potency. Of note is that Sam Dreyfuss, the son of Barney Dreyfuss, took over operations in 1930, but died of pneumonia the following year. As for Adams, his offensive numbers plummeted during his two-year stay in Pittsburgh. After hitting four home runs in 311 at-bats (including one in each game of a doubleheader) during his 1923 rookie campaign, Adams hit just five more over the next 11 years and 5,246 at-bats. His contract was purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals following the 1929 season.
The contract remains crisp with normal compacting folds. Full Photo LOA from JSA.