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Lot # 1109 (of 1743)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Boys of Summer Handwritten Letter Collection: Snider, Reese, Furillo, and Hodges (4)

Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,058

This collection of signed letters and documents, which harkens back to the glory days of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is comprised of handwritten letters from Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, and Carl Furillo, and a Brooklyn Dodgers questionnaire filled out and signed by Gil Hodges. 1) 1964 Duke Snider. One-page handwritten letter, dated January 6, 1964, on Snider's personal letterhead, to Dodgers general manager Buzzie Bavasi. In full: "Dear Buzzie: Just a quick note to try and arrange a meeting with you when ever you can squeeze me into your busy program. I hope you had a very merry Christmas and 1964 is another top year. I hear by the grapevine you want me to play another year before coming with you. That's fine with me but I would like to sit down with you for about 15 minutes as soon as possible. Would you write or call me whenever possible. Yours Truly - Duke." Both the text and signature are penned in blue ink and grade "10." Snider had a very good relationship with Bavasi and, as he notes in his autobiography The Duke of Flatbush (New York: Zebra, 1988), "['Bavasi] had always promised me there would be a job for me in the Dodger organization when my career was over...Buzzie kept his promise." Included with the letter is a carbon copy (8.5 x 11 inches, Ex) of Bavasi's reply, dated January 9, 1964, which reads in part: "I thought it best you play another year due to the fact your salary is far above average. My thinking is you have a lot into baseball, therefore you might as well get as much out of it as you can." Snider took Bavasi's advice and finished his career in 1964 as a member of the San Francisco Giants. Afterwards, Bavasi hired Snider, first as a scout and then as a minor-league manager for the Dodgers. The letter (7.25 x 10.5 inches) displays two horizontal mailing folds and a staple hole in the upper left corner. In Excellent condition. 2) 1946 Pee Wee Reese. One-page handwritten letter, dated January 30, 1946, to Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey. In full: "We have finally secured a place at Daytona Beach for February 15th, and Barbara [daughter] and Dotty [wife] will be able to go with me. I will get in touch with you as soon as I arrive. Sincerely Yours, 'Pee Wee' Reese." Both the text and signature have been scripted in black ink and grade "10." The letter bears a Dodgers internal administration stamp marking the letter "Received" on February 1st. Reese had just returned from military service at the time of this letter and was rejoining the Dodgers after a three-year absence. Not coincidentally, his return resulted in the Dodgers winning six pennants and one World Championship over the next eleven years. The letter (7 x 10.5 inches) displays two horizontal mailing folds, a staple hole in the upper left corner, and a few additional light creases. In Excellent condition overall. 3) 1943 Carl Furillo. One-page handwritten letter, undated on United States Army stationery, to an unidentified gentleman in the Dodgers organization. Although undated, the letter bears a Dodgers internal administration stamp marking the letter "Received" on April 30, 1943. This letter was written by Furillo three years prior to his Major League debut with the Dodgers in 1946. Not surprisingly, baseball is in on his mind here as he requests help from the Dodgers in getting him transferred to a unit with a baseball team. In full: "I was very glad to hear from you. As you know and guessed right, I'm in the U.S. army. Right now I'm home on a furlough. I am deeply interested to play baseball as that was my one and only ambition to get ahead in baseball. I'm not playing in any army team, but I would like too. I would like to get transferred to Mickey McConnell baseball team if it can be arranged. Please do this favor for me as I would appreciate it a lot. I'll be here at home in Story Creek till next Thurs. Then I leave for camp so get in touch with me here. Sincerely yours, Pvt. Carl Furillo." Both the text and signature are executed in black fountain pen and grade "9/10." Furillo was discovered by the Dodgers in 1940 while playing with Reading, a Class B club in the Interstate League. The Dodgers' brass was so enamored with Furillo that they bought the entire franchise, including the team bus, in order to secure his services. Furillo had been with Montreal of the International League in 1942 before being called to military service. Furillo made his Major League debut in 1946 at the age of twenty-four and for the next thirteen seasons was a fixture in right field for the Dodgers. The letter (6.5 x 10 inches) displays two horizontal mailing folds, as well as a few light creases. In Very Good to Excellent condition. 4) 1946 Gil Hodges. One-page "Brooklyn Organization Service Questionnaire No. 2" filled out in blue ink and signed along the base by "Gilbert Ray Hodges." Although all of the answers on this form are printed, it seems reasonable to assume that it was filled out in Hodges' hand, especially since he was stationed at a military base. The questions, and Hodges' answers, read, Name: “Sgt. Hodges Gilbert Ray.” Service address: “Marine Corps Separation Center/Great Lakes, Illinois.” Home address: “1401 E. Main St./Petersburg, Indiana.” Branch of Service: “United States Marine Corps.” Total points required for discharge: “45.” Total points accumulated to date toward your discharge: “46.” Approximate date you expect to be discharged, if known: “February 3rd.” Date questionnaire completed: “February 1st.” Signature: “Gilbert Ray Hodges.” Hodges' signature is boldly scripted, grading "10." The questionnaire bears a Dodgers internal administration stamp marking it "Received" on February 4, 1946. Included with the document is a one-page carbon copy of a letter (8.5 x 11 inches, Ex) to Hodges from Branch Rickey asking him to fill out and return the questionnaire so that he can be reinstated to the active list, making him eligible to play pro baseball. Hodges was signed by Brooklyn in 1943 as a third baseman but only played one game for the Dodgers before being called to military service. As noted here, Hodges was discharged in 1946, but instead of returning to the Dodgers, he spent the 1946 season with Newport News in the Piedmont League learning to be a catcher. He returned to the Dodgers in 1947 as a backup to catcher Bruce Edwards and in 1948 the arrival of Roy Campanella moved Hodges to first, where he remained for the next fourteen seasons. The questionnaire (8.5 x 11 inches) displays both horizontal and vertical mailing folds, as well as a number of light creases and small edge tears. A number of pencil notations, made by administrative personnel, appear on the front. In Very Good condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Total: 6 items (3 handwritten letters, 2 carbon-copy letters, and 1 questionnaire). Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000. SOLD FOR $1,058


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