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Lot # 1267 (1267 of 1911)   « Previous Lot | Next Lot »

Billy Southworth Handwritten Letter - Names the Three Greatest Hitters of All Time!

Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $960

One-page handwritten letter, undated, signed by Hall of Fame manager Billy Southworth. In his letter, written to a gentleman named "Pete," Southworth lists the three players who, in his opinion, were the greatest hitters of all time. In full:

Dear Pete - In my opinion Roger Hornsby was the greatest right hand hitter, Ty Cobb, was the greatest left hand hitter. Babe Ruth, was the greatest power hitter without a question of doubt. Sincerely, Billy Southworth.

Both the text and signature have been boldly scripted in black fountain pen and grade "10." Although Southworth enjoyed a successful playing career (he batted .345 in the 1926 World Series), his Hall of Fame credentials are based largely upon his managerial record. Southworth won three consecutive pennants, and two World Championships, with the St. Louis Cardinals between the years 1942 and 1944. Later, in 1948, he captured another pennant with the Boston Braves. It was during that season that Southworth coined one of baseball's most famous and often-repeated rhymes. When a reporter asked him what his pitching strategy consisted of, he promptly replied, "Spahn, Sain, and pray for rain." Today, Southworth's lifetime managerial winning percentage of .597 ranks fifth all time, and second behind only Joe McCarthy with regard to modern-day managers. Southworth passed away in 1969, but wasn't elected to the Hall of Fame until 2008. Those circumstances have resulted in the scarcity of Billy Southworth signed items today, especially letters. The letter (8 x 4.5 inches) displays one horizontal and two vertical mailing folds, as well as a torn notebook hole along the left border. In Excellent condition overall. Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA.


Reserve $300. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $960


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