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Lot # 636 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1908 Albert Spalding ALS to Mrs. Henry Chadwick Regarding the Receipt of Henry Chadwick's Baseball Library

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $3,525.00

Important three-page handwritten letter signed by Albert Spalding in which he writes to Mrs. Henry Chadwick acknowledging the receipt of her late husband's baseball library, including all of his documents and writings. The letter, written on three sides of a single fold-over sheet, is dated June 27, 1908. Chadwick had died just months earlier, on April 20, 1908, but not before giving away to friends both his library and other items in his baseball collection. The letter reads in part: Dear Mrs. Henry Chadwick. ...I am now going through all the boxes I have received containing your late husband's athletic books and writings...If I find anything in the nature of family heirlooms or something that may have gotten into the shipment by mistake I will lay them aside and advise you. I first met Mr. Chadwick in Chicago just 41 years ago in July on the occasion of the visit of the National BB Club of Washington and from that time to his death I have always had a very warm place in my heart for the "Grand Old Man.' I assure you it gave me pleasure to render what little assistance I could to him in his declining years and I will esteem it a privilege if I may be permitted to render you any needed assistance in my power...Sincerely Yours A. G. Spalding. Both the text and signature have been scripted in black fountain pen and grade "9-10." The importance of this letter lies in the fact that at that time, Henry Chadwick's personal baseball library and documents represented what was universally recognized as the most comprehensive collection of historical baseball records in existence. Spalding later relied heavily upon the Chadwick documents when writing his own history of the game in 1911 titled America's National Game . Ironically, the central tenet of that book, that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in 1839, was one never held by Henry Chadwick, who instead always adamantly insisted that baseball evolved from the English game of rounders. Regardless of their difference of opinion concerning that very contentious matter, Chadwick and Spalding remained close friends for many years. Today, the Spalding Collection, which includes Chadwick’s library, is permanently housed at The New York Public Library, and is universally recognized as one of the world’s most important baseball-library collections. The letter (5.5 x 9.25 inches, unfolded) is written upon Spalding's personal stationery bearing his address ("Yerba Santa Cliffs - Point Roma, California") and displays two horizontal mailing folds in addition to the central fold. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $3,525.00


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