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Lot # 684 (of 1389)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1906 Cap Anson Handwritten Letter (Ex-Anson Family Provenance!)

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $4,500

One-page handwritten letter, dated September 4, 1906, signed by Hall of Fame first baseman Adrian "Cap" Anson. This Anson letter, written during his term as City Clerk of Chicago, is one of a very few that originated many years ago directly from the Anson family. In his missive, written on both sides of a single sheet of official "City Clerks Office/Adrian C. Anson/City Clerk" stationery, Anson writes to his daughter Adele, while also addressing her husband (Carroll) and his other daughter (Cherry), regarding real estate investments. In part.

. . . I admit that we both agreed on many things in regard to the business out there, I also believe we both agree that with the same energy and money we could make more money in Chicago, but the property out there was left to us. And something had to be done and that-something was done. Now I believe there is only one thing left for us to do and that is to close it out - and if lucky enough to get any thing out of it so much the better, as I think we will be able to find a place to invest it. I would rather have my money invested in an independent base ball club and grounds than in a brick business in a better town. Chicago looks better to me. . . .Give hugs and kisses for all. Your loving father AC Anson.

There is also a short postscript that is initial-signed again "AC A," making it a rare double-signed letter. Both the text and Anson's signature have been boldly scripted in black fountain pen and grade "9/10" overall. Anson, one of the game's greatest players, retired from Major League baseball in 1898; however, his post-playing career was marked by both bad business decisions and, in turn, financial troubles. His popularity in Chicago led to his successful election as City Clerk in 1905, but he was criticized for his ineffectiveness and only served one term. The references to "a property left to us" and a "brick business" in his letter refer to the same entity: a brick business owned by his father that was taken over by Carroll and Adele after his father's death in 1905. At the time of this letter Anson was already witnessing a reversal of fortune that soon resulted in his declaring bankruptcy and losing his home just two years later. Penniless, and forced to live with his children, his final years were spent on the vaudeville circuit, where he performed a stage act with his daughters Adele and Cherry in an effort to make ends meet. When he passed away in 1922 at the age of seventy, the National League pitched in and paid for his funeral. The letter (8.25 x 10.5 inches) displays one horizontal and two vertical folds. A few small tears affect the edges on some of the folds, otherwise in Excellent condition. Full LOA from PSA/DNA and LOA from James Spence/JSA.
SOLD FOR $4,500

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