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Lot # 967 (of 1336)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1975 Willie Wells Handwritten Letter

Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $540

One-page handwritten letter, dated August 24, 1975, signed by Hall of Fame Negro League shortstop Willie Wells. In his letter, written during his tenure as manager of the Austin Indians Baseball Club and penned on official club stationery, Wells writes to one of the deans of Negro League baseball history, John Holway. Wells writes in full: "Dear Mr. Holway - Received your write up in the post it was great and you really have made facts in your research. You have done a great job the things you print are true because I was a player in Cuba in Calif. in the Winter League. No the Dallas News or the Austin Statesman News got in touch with me the only time the Austin Statesman got in touch with me when I would visit my mother when I was living in New York. Everything is fine hope your family are the same. I want to thank you for all the things you are doing. Always a friend. Mine in sports. Willie Wells." Both the text and signature have been scripted in black ink and grade "8". Willie Wells is generally considered to be one of the four greatest shortstops in Negro League history. An exceptional hitter as well as a defensive standout, Wells is credited with a career average of .334, and his 27 home runs (in only 88 games) in 1927 stands as the single season Negro League home-run record. Wells also compiled a .392 average in exhibition games against white Major Leaguers. After retiring from baseball, Wells lived in New York City for many years before returning to Austin, Texas, to take care of his ailing mother. He passed away in 1989 and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997. The letter (8.5 x 11 inches) has one vertical and three horizontal mailing folds, as well as a tiny area of light discoloration near the bottom of the text. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA.  Reserve $200. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $540


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