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Lot # 643 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Circa 1950 Billy Evans and Bill McGowan Signed Letters

Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $940.00

Only eight umpires have ever been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Offered here are letters signed by two of those elite arbiters: Bill McGowan and Billy Evans. 1) The first is a one-page typed letter, dated December 28, 1950, signed by Bill McGowan. In his letter, written on his personal stationery and addressed to Boston sportswriter John Drohan, McGowan thanks Drohan for his support: “You sweet thing: I want to thank you dear for the very wonderful write-up you gave the famous McGowan School for Blind Men. Certainly appreciate it, John and I know it’s going to do me a lot of good. I wish a couple of those other guys up in Boston who have been on my neck for 26 years would open up a little bit and give me a little publicity…I certainly do appreciate your kindness of that wonderful write-up, but you have always been a great buddy of mine and a great booster and when old Number One hangs up his spikes he’ll always remember your very nice favors...Sincerely yours, Bill McGowan [signed].” McGowan’s signature has been scripted in bold blue ink and grades “10.” McGowan, who began his Major League umpiring career in 1925, was the American League’s senior umpire at the time of this letter. Known for controlling the field of play as much with his personality as with the rulebook, he was also an “iron man” among umpires, having once worked sixteen consecutive seasons (2,541 games) without missing a game. He passed away in 1954 at the age of fifty-eight. The letter (8.5 x 11 inches) displays normal fold lines and is in Excellent condition overall. 2) The second letter, written entirely in Billy Evans’ hand on his personal stationery, is dated simply “Friday December 29” and is also addressed to John Drohan. The one-page letter echoes the sentiments expressed by McGowan in his letter. “Dear John: Mighty nice of you to take time out to write me. I read with great interest – mixed with some belly laughs – the clipping enclosed. Swell of you to say such nice things about a reformed umpire. In my book you remain tops. I have many pleasant memories of Boston and particularly of John Drohan. You have always been one of my best boosters – hence most helpful in shaping my career. I’m keenly appreciative. You can tell Mr. Number One [Bill McGowan] that you should get a commission on all New England students and that I said so…Cordially Billy Evans.” Both the text and signature have been penned in blue ink and grade “10.” Billy Evans began his Major League umpiring career in 1906 at the age of twenty-two. Over the next twenty-one years he enjoyed a reputation for fairness and superior integrity. After retiring from umpiring in 1927 he worked as a front-office executive for a number of teams. He passed away in 1956 at the age of seventy-two. The letter (7.25 x 10.5 inches) displays normal mailing folds and is in Excellent condition overall. Both of these letters obviously originate from Drohan’s personal collection. Total 2 letters. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$800. SOLD FOR $940.00

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