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Extraordinary 1925 Chick Gandil Signed Letter with Joe Jackson and "Black Sox" Content
Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $4,444
Offered here is one the most remarkable letters in existence with regard to "Black Sox" content that, ideally, also features what can only be described as possibly the finest Chick Gandil signature in the collecting world. The one-page typed letter, dated September 15, 1922, is written to former major league second baseman Joe Gedeon, whom Gandil hopes to recruit for his new team. In full:
Mr. Joe Gedeon, C/o Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, Calif. Friend Joe... Getting together a Ball Club to be known as the Bristol Black Sox and will have Joe Jackson, McMullin, the swede and myself along with a bunch of the best of the local semi-pros, have a ball park and get going a week from Saturday against the best of the local semi-pro clubs that are down here. We are going to draw and there is a chance for you to pick up some dough down here if you care to come down. Undoubtedly there is a chance for you to get a job in this burg and if you will consider this at all let me know at once care of the above address. Yours Truly, Chick Gandil [signed].
Gandil's signature has been flawlessly scripted in black fountain pen and grades "10." When Gandil refers to "care of the above address," he is referencing the letterhead, which reads "The Bristol/Bowling and Billiard Parlor - Buffet and Lunch Counter/Fourth and Spring Streets/Los Angeles." Obviously, the team name of "Bristol Black Sox" was derived from that establishment. The fact that Gandil not only refers to the term "Black Sox," but proposes it as the name of this newly formed club, not to mention listing Joe Jackson, Swede Risberg, and Fred McMullin as three of the recruits, makes this letter one of the most significant post-banishment letters we have ever seen. Further adding to its appeal and historical importance is the recipient of the letter: Joe Gedeon.
Many collectors are probably unaware that Gedeon was also involved in the Black Sox scandal and that he, along with the other infamous "eight men out" (Joe Jackson, Chick Gandil, Eddie Cicotte, Lefty Williams, Buck Weaver, Hap Felsch, Swede Risberg, and Fred McMullin) was also banned for life by Commissioner Landis in 1920 for his role in the conspiracy. Gedeon, a member of the St. Louis Browns in 1919, was good friends with Swede Risberg and apparently was present when a group of gamblers plotted to "fix" the 1919 World Series. Although he had no active part in the scandal, just the fact that he was aware of the conspiracy at the time and did not come forward with the information was enough for Landis to ban him for life. As good as this letter is with regard to content, its provenance is equally impressive: This letter originates from the famed Barry Halper Collection and appeared as Lot 550 at the 1999 Sotheby's auction, where it realized a final sales price of $10,350 (the letter remains housed in its Mylar sleeve bearing the original auction label). At the time of that sale, the letter was offered with a full LOA from the legendary Charles Hamilton, which, we are pleased to note, still accompanies the piece. The letter (8.25 x 11) displays one horizontal and two vertical fold lines, a tiny tear along the top border, and a number of very light surface wrinkles. In Excellent condition overall. Full LOA from Charles Hamilton and LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $4,444
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