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1903 E107 Breisch-Williams Ollie Pickering with Handwritten Letter
Starting Bid - $300, Sold For - $2,700
Rare sample card from the legendary E107 Breisch-Williams series featuring outfielder Ollie Pickering from the Philadelphia Athletics of the American League, presented in a most unique manner: affixed (presumably by Pickering himself) to a letter, personally handwritten by Pickering! This example displays a crisp portrait of Pickering with normal handling wear. Interestingly, Pickering joined Philadelphia in 1903, but the card pictures him as a member of Cleveland, the team he played with the year prior. Although it is in apparent Very Good condition, as noted, the card has been affixed (by means of an adhesive on the reverse) to the lower right corner of a one-page handwritten letter from Pickering to an unidentified ballplayer. The letter, written on "The Vincennes Baseball Association" letterhead and dated June 14, 1913, is addressed to a baseball prospect wishing to join Pickering's club. (Pickering, as noted in print along the top of the stationery, was manager of the Vincennes Alices, a Class D minor-league club playing in the Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee League.) In full: Dear Sir - Your letter received + contents noted + if you can do what you say you can will give you $85.00 + your transportation if you make good + if you are as good as you say you are you will not have any trouble in this league if terms satisfactory come at once. Ollie Pickering. P.S. Played with Phil in American League." Both the text and signature are scripted in black fountain pen and grade "9/10." The letter (8.5 x 11 inches) displays one horizontal and two vertical fold lines and a small edge tear. In Excellent condition overall. Pickering has long been credited as being the first batter in American League history, as a member of Cleveland in 1901, and also as the player who gave birth to the term "Texas Leaguer" (a soft hit landing just beyond the reach of both the infielders and outfielders). This is a most unusual and fascinating pairing of two rare Pickering items (we have never seen another Pickering handwritten letter) that should appeal equally to both autograph and card collectors. Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA.
Reserve $300. Estimate $500+. SOLD FOR $2,700
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