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The Hall of Fame was a long way off when Mike Schmidt signed this contract dated Sept. 28, 1972 to play for the Caguas team of the Puerto Rican Winter League. Just 22 at the time and off a 13-game cup of coffee with the Phillies in ‘72, the budding third baseman went to the tropics to hone the skills that racked up 548 homers and 10 Gold Gloves. His pay? All of $800 a month plus $400 in expenses – pocket money for him later on, but hardly demeaning to the young Schmidt who after hitting just .196 in ’73 would come back to Caguas and, with Gary Carter, lead the club to the Caribbean World Series championship. Schmidt’s valuable early signature is on the last page of the contract in blue ink, grading a solid 9/10. He wrote his home address as 1618 Pinecrest Drive in Dayton, Ohio. Contract is also signed by the league president and approved on 10/16/72. Contract is VG w/light overall browning and a small tear on the fold line on the first page. Two binder holes on the top.
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