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Lot # 851 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1901 Barney Dreyfuss Handwritten Letter with Baseball Content

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $3,555.00

One-page handwritten letter, dated August 17, 1901, signed by Pittsburgh Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss (1865-1932). As most collectors are aware, Barney Dreyfuss's signature is one of the rarest of all Hall of Fame members. The reason for that is twofold. First, as an owner, his signature was not sought after by the few serious autograph collectors during that era. Second, since he died in 1932, but wasn't elected to the Hall of Fame until 2008, few collectors had reason to seek out his autograph. To have a handwritten letter from Dreyfuss, with significant baseball content no less, is certainly the ideal for any advanced collector. This particular letter, which is written to infielder Lewis Carr, is also accompanied by an ideal and remarkable provenance: It, along with three other pieces relating to Lewis Carr in this auction, was only just recently obtained by our consignor directly from a scrapbook long ago personally kept by Carr. The letter, written on "Hotel Brunswick" stationery, officially notifies Carr of his release from the Pittsburgh Pirates. In full: "Mr. Lewis S. Carr - Allegheny, Pa., Dear Sir, This will notify you of your unconditional release from your contract with this company to take effect ten days from date of this notice. Respectfully, Barney Dreyfuss Pres., Pittsburgh Athletic Co." Both the text and signature have been boldly scripted in black fountain pen and grade "9/10." Lewis Carr's only season in the Major Leagues occurred in 1901 with Pittsburgh, where he appeared in nine games with the club following the purchase of his contract from Schenectady on June 30th. Dreyfuss, who had owned Louisville's entry in the National League before the league scaled back and dropped the club in 1900, obtained sole ownership of the PIrates in 1901. During his thirty-two years as head of the Pirates, Dreyfuss was one of the more influential team owners and oversaw the construction of Forbes Field in 1909, which at the time was considered the finest baseball stadium in the Major Leagues. During his tenure the Pirates won four pennants and two World Championships. The letter (6 x 7 inches), which is moderately toned, displays two horizontal folds, a few light creases, and is trimmed along the bottom border. In Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).
SOLD FOR $3,555.00


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