Two-page handwritten letter, dated "Sept 30-64," signed by Hall of Fame outfielder Sam Crawford. In his letter, addressed simply to "Larry" (who was our consignor's father), Crawford begins by discussing his upcoming travel plans, but later offers his opinion of Eliot Asinof's recently published book, Eight Men Out
, which chronicles the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal: That '8 Men Out' book was well written and as you say took a lot of doing. But after reading it I still say that had any other club won in 1920 there would have been no Black Sox. Comiskey was to blame for the whole mess. If you remember, Jackson was ready to talk and tell the whole thing but could not get to Comiskey. The owners did not want the scandal right after the 1919 Series, hoping it would blow over in the 1920 season. To me the whole book was vague + hazy.
The second half of the letter finds Crawford upset both with the "directors of the Hall" (presumably the Baseball Hall of Fame) regarding an unspecified incident and with a gentleman who has been impersonating him: I haven't seen anything in papers about the Detroit News so presume it is still out of business and no telling when it will resume. I did want the sports editor Doc Greene to print my story for I think those directors of the Hall gave me a lousy deal and should be told about it...You must get the story about this impostor who claims to be Wahoo Sam Crawford, it is quite a story.
The letter is signed Sincerely Mary + Wahoo
. A postscript includes his final thoughts on the book Eight Men Out
: P.S. Concerning the '8 Men Out' I've enjoyed reading it, even though it was pretty grim because I knew all the players personally + played against them. A million $ worth of ballplayers.
Both the text and his signature, scripted in red ink, grade "10." Although Crawford has simply signed the letter Mary + Wahoo
, his full signature "Wahoo Sam Crawford," does appear in the body of the text. Crawford was eighty-four years old at the time of this letter and he passed away just four years later. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1957. The letter (8.5 x 10.25 inches), written on two separate unlined sheets of yellow paper, displays both horizontal and vertical mailing folds, as well as a few tiny edge tears. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$600. SOLD FOR $1,880
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