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Lot # 854 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1900 Connie Mack Handwritten Letter with Baseball Content

Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $1,540.50

One-page handwritten letter, dated October 16, 1900, signed by Hall of Fame manager Connie Mack. In his letter, on Milwaukee Base Ball Club letterhead, Mack writes to infielder Lewis Carr and inquires about his services for the following season. He also offers the young player sage advice with regard to contract negotiation. In full:

Dear Sir, Understand you are thinking of joining some good club next season and if such report is true will be pleased to do business with you. The main question with me will be the salary question. I find that young players are very liable to put a very high price upon their services and thereby make their first mistake as club will not take chances with those kind of players. I would like to have you send me your terms for next season. Our season is five months commencing sometime in April and ending in mid Sept. Please reply at once + oblige. Yours Truly Connie Mack.

Both the text and signature have been boldly scripted in black fountain pen and grade "10." This is the earliest Connie Mack letter we have ever seen and predates his long managerial tenure with the Philadelphia Athletics. In fact, at the time of this letter, the Philadelphia Athletics had yet to be founded. Mack was manager of Milwaukee (a member of the newly named American League headed by Ban Johnson) in 1900, a position he had held since 1897. The American League was formally known as the Western League, and was a minor-league circuit at the time. Shortly after this letter was written, Ban Johnson officially declared the American League a major league and began expanding into traditional National League territories. When Ben Shibe was granted an American League franchise in Philadelphia for the 1901 season, Mack became not only his manager, but his partner, after having negotiated a twenty-five percent interest in the club. In addition to its status as an extremely early Mack letter, it also comes with a remarkable and impeccable provenance: This letter, along with three other pieces relating to Lewis Carr in this auction, was only just recently obtained by our consignor directly from a scrapbook once personally kept by Carr. The letter (8.5 x 11 inches) is lightly toned and displays one horizontal and two vertical creases. A few other minor surface wrinkles are also evident. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. This is an exceptional Connie Mack handwritten letter, with outstanding baseball content, dating from his final season as manager of Milwaukee. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $1,540.50

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