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Vintage Hall of Fame Signature and Letter Collection: Mordecai Brown, Clark Griffith, and Billy Evans (3)
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,528
This collection of vintage Hall of Fame signatures and letters is comprised of a flawless Mordecai Brown signature example and handwritten letters by Clark Griffith and Billy Evans. 1) Mordecai Brown Signed Autograph Album Page. Brown's signature has been beautifully scripted in blue fountain pen and grades "10." Mordecai Brown was one of the greatest pitchers of the early twentieth century and his lifetime ERA of 2.06 ranks fourth best all-time. Brown passed away in 1948, one year prior to his election to the Hall of Fame, and his signature today, in any form, is both rare and highly prized by collectors. This is a rare perfect example, ideal for display. The sheet, which has been neatly removed from an autograph album, has a light horizontal crease (not affecting the signature) that does not detract from its overall Excellent appearance. 2) Clark Griffith Handwritten Letter. One-page letter, undated, signed in pencil by Clark Griffith. In the letter, written upon "The Angebilt" hotel stationery, Griffith writes to a friend discussing what appears to be the potential sale of the Washington Senators. In full: Tues - Friend Ray - Lights, furniture and all parafernalia [sic] for keeping grounds and stands would go with franchise - 10 players also - lease & etc - just turn over as is if got my price - Yours Truly - Clark Griffith. Both the text and signature grade "9/10." The pencil notation "Rec'd. Blfd. 2/19" appears along the top border. Griffith owned the Senators from 1920 until the time of his death in 1955, so if he was discussing a sale of the club in this letter, which most certainly appears to be the case, it never transpired. It is likely this letter dates from the mid-1920s. The Angebilt hotel was built in 1924 and remains in business to this day in Orlando, Florida. Griffith, nicknamed the "Old Fox," was a star pitcher in the 1800s and later enjoyed a successful managerial career before purchasing the Senators in 1920. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1946. The letter (6 x 9.5 inches) displays two horizontal mailing folds and is in Excellent condition. 3) Billy Evans Handwritten Letter. One-page, undated, signed in blue ink by Billy Evans. Although the letter is undated, it is clear from the content that this letter was written in 1951, just after Evans resigned as Detroit General manager. In his letter, penned upon his personal stationery, Evans writes to Detroit Tigers coach Dick Bartell and offers him both thanks and praise for the job he has done. In part: Like 'Red' [Tigers manager Red Rolfe], I also thought you did a fine job, not only last year, but every year you have been with the Tigers during my regime. I was delighted when 'Red' said you were to return. It was nice to have been with such fine chaps as 'Red' Rolfe, Dick Bartell, Ted Lyons, and Rick Ferrell. I'll be pulling for you always. Please say hello to Mrs. Bartell. All good wishes. Cordially. Billy Evans. Both the text and signature grade "10." Billy Evans enjoyed a celebrated Major League umpire career before becoming a front office executive, first as general manager with Cleveland (1927-1935) and later with Detroit (1946-1951). He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973. This letter originates from the estate of Dick Bartell Jr. and is accompanied by an LOA from the Bartell family. The letter (7.25 x 10.5 inches) has normal mailing folds, very minor rippling, and the slightest hint of a light stain (barely detectable) in the lower left. It is written on Billy Evans personal stationary. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Total: 3 items (signed album page and 2 handwritten letters). Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,528
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