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1927 John McGraw Signed Letter to Ross Youngs and Unexecuted 1927 Ross Youngs Contract
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $5,100
One-page typed letter, written on "New York Base Ball Club" letterhead, signed by Hall of Fame manager John McGraw. This is actually the cover letter to Youngs' 1927 New York Giants contract, which is also included here. Although the letter is dated "January 6, 1926," the content clearly indicates that it dates from January 6, 1927 (McGraw simply forgot to change the year to 1927, as it was sent just after the new year). Youngs, who was suffering from Bright's disease (which affects the kidneys), had missed the entire second half of the 1926 season and was still very ill at time of this letter, as alluded to by McGraw. In full:
My Dear Ross: I had a letter from Mr. Kinsella from San Antonio saying he had seen you in the hospital and that you probably would be there for at least three weeks. We are very sorry to hear that you are laid up again and hope that this letter finds you on the road to a speedy recovery. I hope when you get out you will be able to go to Marlin for the baths as they should do you the world of good and help get you ready for the coming season. Enclosed you will find your contract for 1927. Will you please sign the original and return it at your convenience. Things look pretty bright for the Club and with you in your old position I feel we will be hard to beat. With all good wishes for your future health and hoping I will get a few lines from you at your convenience. I am Sincerely yours John J. McGraw [signed].
McGraw's signature is boldly scripted in black fountain pen and grades "10." Tragically, Youngs never recovered from his ailment and his condition deteriorated quickly. Just a few months later, Dick Kinsella (the scout who originally discovered Youngs in 1916 and is who is mentioned in McGraw's letter) reported to McGraw that he had visited Youngs again and he was all but gone, having dropped in weight from 170 to 100 pounds. Youngs died shortly after, on October 22, 1927, at the age of thirty. The letter (8.5 x 11 inches) displays light toning and two horizontal mailing folds; otherwise it is in Excellent to Mint condition. Together with Ross Youngs' 1927 New York Giants contract. The one-year agreement, dated January 4, 1927, calls for Youngs to receive a salary of $13,750. It is signed in black fountain pen (each grading "10") by both "Chas. A. Stoneham" (secretarial signature) as president and "James J. Tierney" as secretary (Youngs has not signed the contract). The four-page fold-over contract (8.5 x 11 inches) displays two horizontal folds and is in Excellent to Mint condition. Total: two items (letter and contract). Consigned directly from the Ross Youngs Family. LOA from James Spence/JSA. SOLD FOR $5,100
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