19th century baseball pioneer's contracts hit auction block

BOSTON (AP) One of the nation's first professional baseball players lies largely forgotten by history in an unmarked grave in Boston.

Now, nearly 150 years after Andrew Leonard signed his first deal, his grandson hopes to raise enough money for a marker to honor his relative and his contributions to the game by auctioning his grandfather's contracts.

They are among the oldest professional contracts in existence and include one that shows Leonard was actually paid by the federal government to play baseball.

Leonard's grandson, 82-year-old Charles McCarty, says it's time his grandfather was honored for his contributions to the game.

Leonard was born in Ireland, grew up in New Jersey and played in Cincinnati, Washington and Boston.

The items are expected to fetch about $100,000 at auction Feb. 20.

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