1924 Walter Johnson Advertising Broadside - Johnson's Personal Copy!

Sold For: $600

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 1637

Item Year: 1924

Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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Rare advertising broadside promoting the syndicated autobiography of Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson in 1924. Issued by The Christy Walsh Syndicate, this broadside was produced both as a promotional piece and as a response by The Christy Walsh Syndicate to the release of an unauthorized biography of Walter Johnson that was set to be published at roughly the same time. In order to emphasize that this was Johnson's official biography, the bold red lettering, written vertically along the left border, reads "This is my own life story and the only one I have written or authorized - Walter Johnson." The broadside features a full-length photo of Johnson as a member of the Senators in 1924, as well a promotional text for the syndicated autobiography. This is, to the best of our knowledge, the only example extant of this particular broadside and its rarity is equaled only by its impressive provenance. As noted by the handwritten notations on the reverse, this broadside was folded and mailed to Walter Johnson in 1924! The address, written boldly in blue fountain pen, reads "Walter Johnson c/o Mayor Roberts - Reno, Nevada. It is postmarked from "Grand Central Sta. N. Y. Dec 5 1924." Additional provenance is supplied by Hank Thomas, Walter Johnson's grandson, who has provided a one-page handwritten and signed letter, dated 7/30/14, in which he attests that the broadside originates directly from Johnson's personal collection. The broadside (10 x 13 inches), which is printed on heavy paper stock, displays a horizontal mailing fold along the length of which the piece ultimately tore completely in half. The tear was later repaired with clear tape, as were three other small tears. Minor toning, light stains, and foxing are also evident. In Good condition overall. Despite its flaws, the piece can likely be easily restored if desired, but it is still extremely presentable as is, with bold graphics. Reserve $200. Estimate (open).


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