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1912 Christy Mathewson Handwritten Letter with Corresponding Period Newspaper Article
Starting Bid - $5,000, Sold For - $8,400
One-page handwritten letter, dated December 23, 1912, signed by Christy Mathewson. This is an extraordinary Mathewson letter in that it is fully documented in an accompanying 1912 newspaper article. As the article explains, Mathewson's letter is in response to one sent to him by a Mr. Harry P. Vories, whose daughter, Edwina, landed in trouble with the dean of her college after she missed class to watch Mathewson pitch in the 1912 World Series at Boston. The following day the dean sent a card to Edwina ordering her to report to his office and explain her absence. She, in turn, sent the card to her father and argued that he should "square" things with the dean since she attended the game on his suggestion. Mr. Vories declined to interfere in the matter, but thought it appropriate to write Mathewson and relate the tale, as well as ask the famed pitcher for a small favor. The article ends by reprinting, in full, Vories' letter to Mathewson and Mathewson's response. After praising Mathewson's skill as a pitcher, Vories concludes his missive by getting to the heart of the matter:
. . . I sent my daughter in Boston a telegram to attend the game to see you. I send the card showing her troubles with the dean on account thereof. I believe the young lady is a fan, good enough to deserve your autograph, but if you should send it my second daughter would, no doubt, appropriate it at once.
Mathewson's handwritten response, which is offered here, reads as follows:
Dear Sir, I received a letter from you last month which can hardly be answered by saying thank you, so I am just going to autograph your daughter's card and enclose it, together with another one of my signatures for your other daughter. Yours truly, C. Mathewson.
Both the text and signature are scripted in black fountain pen and grade "9/10." Mathewson has also included his home address ("87 St. Nichols Place, N. Y.") above the date in the upper right corner. This letter has appeared at public auction twice before. In the first instance, in 2010, the lot included the twice-signed Mathewson card and realized $35,850. Three years later, the letter was offered separately at auction, at which time it was purchased by our consignor for $10,755. This is one of only five Christy Mathewson handwritten letters we have seen at public auction in the past twenty years. Its rarity aside, the fact that it is documented in a period newspaper article, and relates to the 1912 World Series, makes it an especially desirable example. The letter (5 x 6.5 inches), which displays a single, horizontal mailing fold and a few light surface wrinkles, has benefitted from restoration in repair of a tear along the fold line and in the removal of a piece of tape on the reverse, In Excellent condition overall. The newspaper clipping (approximately 7 x 9.5 inches) displays a number of repaired tears along the fold lines and is in Excellent condition as well. Total: two items (letter and newspaper article). Full LOA from James Spence/JSA and full LOA from PSA/DNA. Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $8,400
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