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1901 William Armour Handwritten Letter with Baseball Content - Ty Cobb's First Major League Manager!
Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $1,185.00
Rare one-page handwritten letter, dated October 27, 1901, signed by William Armour, who would later become Ty Cobb's first major league manager with Detroit in 1905. In his letter, written on official "The Cleveland Ball Club Company" letterhead, Armour attempts to secure the services of infielder Lewis Carr for the coming season. In full: "Mr. Lewis Carr, Syracuse, N.Y., My Dear Sir - I understand you are at liberty for next year and if so would like to have your terms to play with Cleveland American League Club. An early reply would be appreciated by Yours Very Truly, W. R. Armour - Wyandal Hotel, Cleveland, Ohio." Both the text and signature have been scripted in black fountain pen and grade "9/10." Armour had just taken over the managerial duties for Cleveland following Jimmy McAleer's managerial departure for the St. Louis Browns at season's end. Carr, who played briefly for the Pirates in 1901, had just recently been released by the club. (The letter from Barney Dreyfuss officially releasing Carr is offered as a separate lot in this auction.) Unfortunately for Carr, he either did not accept the offer or failed to make the club that spring, for he never played in the Major Leagues again. This particular letter (along with three other pieces relating to Lewis Carr in this auction) comes with the special provenance of having been recently obtained by our consignor directly from Carr's estate. William Armour enjoyed a brief Major League managerial career, consisting of three years with Cleveland (1902-1904) and two seasons with Detroit (1905-1906). However, his main claim to fame today is that he was one of the men responsible for the Tigers obtaining Cobb's contract from Augusta in late 1905, and served as Cobb's first Major League manager. This is the first signature example of William Armour that we have ever seen, let alone offered, and one that should appeal to any advanced autograph or Ty Cobb collector. The letter (8 x 8 inches), which has been trimmed to its current dimensions, has been affixed to a scrapbook album page featuring period newspaper clippings on the opposite side. Mild toning is evident, as are both horizontal and vertical mailing folds. In Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $1,185.00
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