Love of the Game February 2, 2013 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/3/2013
The San Diego Padres were a Pacific Coast League team.  Playing in the PCL from 1936 through 1968, the team did not finish in first place until 1954.  Soon thereafter, the team was sold to C. Arnholt Smith, who had the goal of bringing the Padres to the Major Leagues.  The plan was a solid one, as the 1957 relocation of the Dodgers and Giants to California put a dent in the popularity of the PCL.  The Padres, of course, folded in 1968 after Smith won his bid for expansion.

This is the 1958 contract for Cuban pitcher Julio Guerra.  Guerra was a star pitcher for the Cocoa Indians in the Florida State League in 1957, going 26-9 with a 2.40 ERA.  Signed in April of 1958, Guerra pitched in just five games with San Diego, eventually moving on to Burlington of the Carolina League and Reading of the Eastern League - all affiliates of the Cleveland Indians at the time.  Guerro remained in the Cleveland organization until 1961, when he moved to the Durham Bulls (a Tigers affiliate), finishing his career in 1963 in the Minnesota Twins organization.

The Padres General Manager at the time the contract was signed was baseball Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner.  Kiner, who had retired in 1955 at a young age due to back problems, served as an executive in the Padres organization until 1960.  During his stint with the Padres, to save money, Kiner elected to do the team's broadcasting himself.  After his stint with the Padres, Kiner served as a broadcaster with the Chicago White Sox in 1961 before moving to the expansion New York Mets, where at 89 years old, he still appears today.

This contract is an outstanding document of the career of a Cuban ballplayer, a long-gone PCL team, and a baseball Hall of Famer.  Well-preserved, this AAA Uniform Player's Contract is signed boldly twice in fountain pen by both Guerra and Kiner, dated April 14, 1958.  Kiner's signature on the front page of the contract is intersected by a date stamp, but is bold, sharp, and unobscured on the second page.
Ralph Kiner signed 1958 Padres (PCL) Julio Guerra (Cuban) contractRalph Kiner signed 1958 Padres (PCL) Julio Guerra (Cuban) contract
Ralph Kiner signed 1958 Padres (PCL) Julio Guerra (Cuban) contract
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $50
Final prices include buyers premium.: $0
Number Bids: 0
Auction closed on Sunday, February 3, 2013.
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