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1964 Jimmie Foxx Handwritten Letter with Baseball Content - "Speaker Has to be the Best Center Fielder"
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $2,015
Two-page handwritten letter (on two sides of the same sheet), dated "Lakewood, Ohio, April 25" (no year), signed by Jimmie Foxx. In his letter, scripted in blue ink on a sheet of lined paper, Foxx writes to his friend "Joe" and offers his opinion on who was the best center fielder of all time. In full:
Dear Joe: Long time no see old buddy. Health no good. Haven't been able to do anything since last heart kick up in St. Louis last fall. I hope they sell a million of those busts I need it. Speaker has to be the best center fielder. He was a little over the hill when I first saw him but still the best, he played the outfield like you play shortstop. Dom DiMaggio played a little like he did. Having seen him over his whole career, I would pick Joe DiMaggio as the best since Speaker. I hope this finds you in the best of health. Sincere Regards, Jimmie Foxx.
Both the text and signature have been boldly scripted and grade "10." Based upon the content, this letter appears to have been written by Foxx in 1964. The "heart kick up in St. Louis" that he mentions (referred to by Foxx's hospital physicians as "an acute heart ailment" and reported by the media as being a heart attack) occurred in the fall of 1963. Foxx lived in Lakewood, Ohio, before moving to Miami in the summer of 1964. Interestingly, the "busts" that he refers to are almost certainly the Hall of Fame Busts produced in 1963 by Sports "Hall of Fame," Inc. (the official licensee of the National Baseball Hall of Fame). Foxx, while not destitute, was struggling financially during his later years and any royalties he would have received from the sale of those busts would have been very important to him. It is also probable that this letter was written to Joe Cronin, his teammate and manager during his years with Boston, based upon the comment "he played outfield like you play shortstop." Cronin was the only starting shortstop Foxx played with during his career whose first name is Joe. Jimmie Foxx handwritten letters are rare and this is the first example we can ever recall offering. The fact that it contains such outstanding baseball content makes it especially desirable. The letter (5 x 8 inches) displays two horizontal folds, with tape repair on the reverse to a tear along the top fold line; otherwise in Excellent condition. Matted and framed together with a recent print of Foxx to total dimensions of 20 x 16 inches. Ideally, the letter has been framed with glass on each side, so that both the front and reverse of the letter can be viewed. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500++. SOLD FOR $2,015
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