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1935 Walter Johnson Handwritten Letter with Baseball Content
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $1,440
One-page handwritten letter, undated, signed by Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson. In his letter, Johnson writes to a Mr. Paul Schweitzer Jr. regarding the club's catching prospects for the upcoming 1935 season. In full:
Dear Paul: Your letter came as I was leaving for the south as I want to thank you for it and let you know I appreciate what you had to say. Larry Woodall was a good catcher and I expect he is as good as some I have now too. We have a couple youngsters we are looking over and maybe one of them will come through for us. Thanks again. Sincerely Walter Johnson.
Both the text and signature are scripted in black fountain pen and grade "8/9" overall. Although the later is not dated, it is accompanied by its original mailing envelope, which is postmarked "New Orleans, LA. Feb. 27 1935." Johnson was manager of the Cleveland Indians at the time of this letter and the club had just opened training camp in New Orleans. Larry Woodall was a former major league catcher (1920-1929) with the Detroit Tigers who, in 1935, was still playing ball in the Pacific Coast League as a member of the San Francisco Seals. (In an interesting side note, many years later, Woodall's image would be mistakenly used on Harry Heilmann's 1960 Fleer card.) Obviously, given Johnson's response, Mr. Schweitzer had written Johnson and suggested that Woodall was better than any of the catchers the Indians currently had on their roster. Johnson was tactful in his response, without being condescending. The letter (7.25 x 10.5 inches) displays a horizontal and two vertical mailing folds, an "x" shaped area of light toning in the upper half, and a tiny edge tear along the lower right border. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. The envelope (7.5 x 4 inches), which bears the preprinted return address of The Roosevelt hotel, displays a number of large tears that have been repaired by clear tape. In Good condition overall. Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,440
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