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Hall of Famer Signed Document Collection (4) - Mathews, Reese, Jenkins, and Blyleven
Starting Bid - $100, Sold For - $180
This collection of four documents, each signed by a different Hall of Fame player, is highlighted by a four-page Veteran's Administration "Application For Reinstatement" (for life insurance), signed twice by Hall of Fame third baseman Eddie Mathews. Mathews filled out and submitted this form on August 18, 1954, in the hopes of receiving a $10,000 life insurance policy through the Veterans Administration due to his brief service in the Navy in 1951 (he received a hardship discharge after only a few months due to his father's illness and his status as sole supporter for his family). Mathews filled in all of the required information and signed the application twice in the areas required, each time signing in blue ink. On the first page he has signed his name "Edwin L. Mathews Jr. " (grading "9"), and on the second page he has signed (with full name signature) "Edwin Lee Mathews Jr." ("10"). Mathews had to give a complete medical history, while the third page consisted of a physical report filled out by his physician. Incredibly, Mathews' application for life insurance was denied one month later, as noted by the blue-ink notation written on the front page: "Disapproved/Medically Rejected/VEL 9-24-54." It's not apparent what specifically led to his application being rejected, but it is noted that in response to the question of whether he had ever resided with anyone having tuberculosis, he answered "Father +3 years." As far as the Milwaukee Braves were concerned, Mathews was "fit as a fiddle" in 1954, a season in which he batted .290 with 40 home runs and 103 RBI. One of the game's greatest sluggers, Mathews finished his career with 512 home runs and 1,453 RBI. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1978. The fold-over application (8 x 10.5 inches) displays a horizontal fold and two notebook holes punched along the top border; otherwise it's in Excellent to Mint condition.
The remaining three documents in this collection are as follows:
1) One-page "Application for National Service Life Insurance," dated February 27, 1943, signed in blue ink (grading "8") by "Harold Henry Reese" (full name signature). This was the standard life-insurance application for servicemen during World War II. Reese is applying for a $10,000 policy and lists both his wife and mother as the beneficiaries, with each to receive $5,000 in the event of his death. 8 x 10.5 inches. Vg-Ex, with two torn notebook holes along the top border.
2-3) Two near-identical "Licensing Contracts of Product Endorsements" questionnaires (8.5 x 14 inches) signed respectively by "Fergie Jenkins" in pencil ("9"), and Bert Blyleven in blue ink ("10"). Each player has also written his team affiliation below his name ("Chicago Cubs" for Jenkins and "Minn. Twins" for Blyleven). Both forms ask the player to check off whether or not they currently have any licensing contracts or product endorsements in the following areas: Milk, Ice Cream, Gasoline or Oil, Foods & Beverages, Clothing, Toiletries, Sports Equipment, Baseball Games, Breakfast Cereal, Bakery Products, Automobiles, Tires, Toys, and Others. Jenkins has replied in the affirmative with regard to Clothing (Leo Rose), Sports Equipment (Rawlings), and Automobiles (Ryan Dodge), while Blyleven has responded "No" to all. The Jenkins document is hand-dated "July 20-70" and is in Excellent condition overall, with minor border wear and staple holes. The Blyleven document bears the date "May 15, 1974" both in print and by hand, and is in Very Good to Excellent condition, with light staining in the lower right, staple holes, and moderate border wear. Total: 4 items. Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $100. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $180
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