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Lot # 957 (of 1336)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1955 Al Simmons Five-Page Handwritten Letter with Poignant Baseball Content

Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $1,200

Five-page handwritten letter, dated October 21, 1952, signed by Hall of Fame outfielder Al Simmons. In his letter, penned on Milwaukee Athletic Club stationery, Simmons writes to a Mr. Fred Sticha of Cleveland, Ohio, and urges him to lead a letter-writing campaign to help Simmons get a coaching job with the Cleveland Indians, and also to help get Simmons elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. This is a simply remarkable letter. In part:

My last connection was with the Cleveland Indians in 1950 & the spring of 1951 when I had to leave the team because of illness. I was a coach and would enjoy getting back into the game in any capacity. You fellows could do me a great favor by writing Hank Greenberg or Ellis Ryan and suggesting that the club take me back now as a coach since I am fully recuperated. Also, don't say anything about hearing from me but write him as fans of the Indians, who in Hank's opinion are looking for an agressive coach! Get as many fellows and friends to write, the more write the better chance I have of getting the job. . . . the same holds true about the Hall of Fame. Fellows like you and your friends must write the newspapermen who are sports writers and remind them when the voting starts again. . . . Sincerely Al Simmons P. S. When you write Hank tell him you enjoyed my pep and life on the coaching lines! . . . Please don't let anyone see this, write me again here to this club. Best of luck, Al - Write soon to Hank -

Both the text and signatures are boldly scripted in blue ink and grade "10." Ellis Ryan was the owner of the Indians and Hank Greenberg the club's general manager in 1952. Unfortunately, Simmons never was rehired by the Indians as a coach, but he was elected to the Hall of Fame a few months later, so perhaps his efforts here were not in vain. Simmons died in 1956 at the age of fifty-four. Each page of the letter (6 x 9.5 inches) displays a vertical and horizontal fold and is otherwise in Excellent to Mint condition. Together with the original mailing envelope, postmarked 10/21/52, bearing Simmons' initials "A. H. S." as part of the return address on the reverse (5.75 x 3.75 inches; Ex). LOA from James Spence/JSA.  Reserve $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $1,200

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