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1930 Walter Johnson Handwritten Letter to Al Schacht
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $2,160
Two-page handwritten letter (two separate sheets), dated February 1, 1930, signed by Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson. The letter, written on official "Washington American League Base Ball Club" letterhead, is addressed to "Al," who, based upon the content, is almost certainly Al Schacht, "The Clown Prince of Baseball." (Johnson was manager of the Washington Senators at the time and Schacht was his third-base coach.) In his missive, Johnson warns Schacht that contract negotiations with owner Clark Griffith would be difficult and that Nick Altrock, Schacht's on-field comedy partner and also a coach with the Senators, was stealing some of his material on the banquet circuit. In part: "Dear Al. . . . I believe you are one of thirty or more holdouts. I haven't read where you have signed I am going to put you wise, one of the boys has been here four years without a raise and told Griff he expected a raise after going along four years. 'Griff' wrote him back that he was lucky some one would keep him four years. Nick is using some of your stuff in his speeches. No news down here at all only things are very tight out at the office so looks like you had better bring a crow bar, gun, or some thing when you talk contract. . . .Sincerely, Your Friend Walter Johnson." Both the text and signature are scripted in black fountain pen and grade "9" overall. Each page of the letter (8.5 x 11 inches) displays one horizontal and two vertical mailing folds, as well as light toning. In Excellent condition overall. Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA.
Reserve $300. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $2,160
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