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Exhibition Baseball Americana

Ty Cobb’s American League player contract, 1908. Courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (090.00.00)

Ty Cobb’s Contract

At a time when the average American earned less than $400 a year, Ty Cobb was batting .324 and earning $4,000 with the Detroit Tigers. His signed contract for the 1908 season, shown here, represented only a small fraction of his income. Cobb’s early investments in Coca-Cola and General Motors, his endorsement deals, and his real estate holdings made him by far the wealthiest player in the game.