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Lot # 1449 (of 1560)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Significant 1983-1993 Ronald Reagan Signed Letter Archive (35)

Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $14,100

This vast archive of thirty-five Ronald Reagan signed letters spans the years 1983 to 1993 and has been consigned directly from the family of Marion Grimm, wife of former Chicago Cubs player and manager Charlie Grimm. Ronald Reagan and Charlie Grimm became good friends during the 1930s, when Reagan was a radio announcer for the Cubs and Grimm the team's player/manager. Their friendship lasted a lifetime, and when Grimm married Marion in the 1960s, she too was welcomed into Reagan's tight circle of friends. Charlie Grimm passed away in 1983, but as these letters show, Marion remained very close with both Ronald and Nancy Reagan. While all of the letters, written to Marion, are personal in nature, a number contain particularly interesting content, including many in which Reagan references the Cubs and baseball. Ideally, eight of the offered pieces were signed by Reagan as President and four are on official "The White House" stationery. The vast majority of the letters are completely handwritten, and all have been signed either "Ron" or "Ronnie." Nearly all also include the original mailing envelope. This is the first time this significant Reagan correspondence archive has been seen in the collecting world. In our inventory of the collection, we have grouped the letters by the type of stationery used. Although it would be impossible to quote each letter in its entirety, we have selected a few choice passages to convey the nature of the correspondence. All of the letters can be seen, in their entirety, on our web site. The collection is comprised of the following: 1) "The White House" Stationery (four total; 1987-1988). Notable passages include "Then it was back to Washington and the hospital. I'm happy to say there wasn't a hitch; all the exams came out A-plus and the surgery was a success. I'm back at the office now and feeling fine. The only sour note is - - as you yourself pointed out - - the media. They are like a lynch mob looking for a victim. I know they've chosen me, but I don't think they can get the rope around my neck..." (1/15/87); "You are so right about the media; they seem to be in the business not to report the news but to make it by attacking whoever is in charge. Just between us, I handle it by pretending I'm on the mound pitching and they are out in the right field bleachers..." (3/30/87). All of the letters display mailing folds and two, which are matted, exhibit moderate toning. The two matted examples are affixed to the matting by means of tape on the reverse. In Excellent condition overall. 2) Ronald Reagan Letterhead Stationery (7 total; 1989-1993). All but one of the letters are typed. Notable passages include "It was good to hear from you and I guess we're pretty pleased with our Cubs. I was broadcasting them when they won the last 21 games of the season to win the pennant. The only mathematical chance to win was to take them all & they did..." (10/4/89); "Nancy and I have been very busy. We just returned from a visit to New York. I received a Freedom Award from the Naval crew of the U.S.S. Intrepid. They have just made the ship into a museum, and it was quite spectacular..." (9/28/93). Sizes range from 6.5 x 8.5 to 7.25 x 10.5 inches. All display normal mailing folds and are in Excellent to Mint condition or better. 3) Official Ronald Reagan Note Cards (21 total; 1990-1992; many undated). All of the note cards are completely handwritten. One of the note cards is lettered "The White House," while the rest bear his preprinted name. All feature the Great Seal of the United States embossed along the top. Notable passages include "I'm glad to learn about Wrigley Field and your ceremony with Charlie's ashes. Bless you for thinking of that and I know that Charlie must be happy to be with the Cubs and with you..." (undated, but Charlie Grimm's ashes were spread on Wrigley Field in 1983); "By the way when I think of Charlie and what his salary would be these days I find it hard to get used to modern baseball. Frankly I don't think the game is improved that much over baseball as it was when Charlie was leading the Cubs..." (4/27; no year listed); "Thank you for your words to Nancy. The press is being hateful and are basing all their stories on falsehoods. Nancy is upset and feeling low. I keep telling her people won't believe those things but I haven't convinced her..." (1/17/90); "I wonder if Mr. Wrigley will look down on the upcoming 1st night game at Wrigley Field and protest its happening. He was totally against night ball..." (undated, but the first official night game at Wrigley Field took place on 8/9/88); "Thank you for your letter and bless you for what you had to say. I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that scores of those people she lists as informants have gotten in touch and told us they've never met her or communicated any of those stories she claims to have heard from them..." (4/28/91; referring to author Kitty Kelley's unauthorized biography of Nancy Reagan, published in May 1991); "I know what you mean about the sniping at Nancy and me on TV and in the press. Actually, it's just because the bulk of the press is on the other side politically. As I get around the country on my speaking trips I've been amazed at the warmth of my reception by the people. Apparently the snipers in the press haven't had much of an affect on the people. Still I get annoyed - especially when they resort to lies..." (4/24/90). All of the cards measure 6.25 x 4.25 inches, with the exception of two (slightly smaller), and are in Near Mint condition. 4) Holiday or Birthday Cards (3 total). The highlight is a large-format birthday card bearing a handwritten note from Reagan congratulating Marion on the occasion of her seventy-eighth birthday. (Although it is undated, we know from other letters in the collection that Marion was born in 1910, thus dating the letter to 1988). 12 x 9 inches, unfolded. Ex, with light staining. The remaining two items are standard Christmas cards, one is dated 1987 and the other, which features a handwritten note, is undated. Both Nr-Mt. Together with a few additional letters, cards, and miscellaneous correspondence from Reagan that is not actually signed, bearing either a stamped or auto pen signature, as well as a one-page typed letter (Nr-Mt), dated 9/8/83, signed in blue ink (grading "10") by Gerald Ford. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Total: 35 Ronald Reagan signed items. Reserve $2,000. Estimate $4,000/$6,000.

Additional images are available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/37009821@N02/ SOLD FOR $14,100


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