Auction Item Details

Lot 95

<<   <  Jump to Lot :    >   >>  


Lot Number: 95

Description: Historically significant 1941 Elmer Layden contract establishing the position of NFL Commissioner autographed by Charles Bidwill, Curly Lambeau, George Halas, Art Rooney, and other executives. Important document was executed on February 1, 1941 between Elmer Layden and executives representing (7) member teams of the National Football League. The contract established the role of NFL Commissioner, a position formerly been known as League President. It was an effort to consolidate authority over all professional leagues under one office and was modeled after what Major League Baseball had done in appointing Kennesaw M. Landis in 1920. At the suggestion of noted sportswriter Arch Ward (who turned down the opportunity), Elmer Layden was considered for and ultimately given the job after a majority of team owners had agreed to his hiring. Layden was best known as a member of Notre Dame's famed "Four Horsemen" and in 1941 was the school's Head Coach, a role which he resigned from in order to take the reigns at the NFL. Multi-page legal sized contract is secured within its' original paper stock folio (9"x14"). It has been signed on the last page by a total of (9) individuals including Elmer Layden, George Halas, Charles Bidwill, Fred Mandel, Art Rooney Sr., George Marshall, Curly Lambeau, Edward Bruch, and Dan Topping. The most notable autograph among the group is Charles Bidwill, then owner of the Chicago Cardinals, and a Hall of Fame member who passed away in 1947. His signature ranks among the top (2) or (3) rarest of all Football Hall of Famers with only a handful of examples having reached the market in the last decade, this being only the second we can recall seeing signed with his full "Charles W. Bidwill" name (the other a small cut which sold for over $15,000 in 2019). All signatures are done in period fountain pen rating 8/9 out of 10 with the exception of Lambeau (approx. 5 out of 10) and Marshall (7). The contract has a horizontal fold along which there is toning and some other wear and/or splitting (this varies by page and most notably effects the final signed page). All pages have been secured along this fold from behind with clear tape. Among the most significant football related documents to have been offered at auction and the first example of Bidwill's rare and desirable autograph we can recall handling. Includes full LOAs from PSA/DNA and BAS/Beckett: See description

Estimated Price Range: ($25,000-$35,000)

Sold for Price: Login or Register