Though known for his years as the pilot of the Yankees, Joe Torre had a playing career worthy of Hall of Fame consideration.
Torre broke into the big leagues with the Milwaukee Braves as a 20-year old in 1960. He finished second in Rookie of the Year balloting in his first full season.
From 1960-1968 his primary position was catcher. As his knees gave out he switched to the corner spots in the infield.
Torre made 9 All Star teams in his 18 seasons in the majors. His finest year came in 1971 when he led the NL in hits, batting average RBI, and total bases. His efforts were rewarded with the MVP Award.
By the time he hung up his spikes in 1977 his career totals included 2,342 hits, 252 homers, 1,185 RBI, and a slash line of .297/.365/.452. Torre’s career WAR stands at 57.5.
In the collection is this contract signed by Torre in the month before his rookie season. The deal calls for Torre’s signature to appear on souvenir stamped autographed baseballs.
In return for providing his signature, Torre receives a whopping one penny per ball sold. The contract is dated March 5, 1961.