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(2) William Harridge Signed Items With 1944 Correspondence and 1950 Athletics Contract

Lot Number 898

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During a 29-year reign as the American League President, Hall of Fame executive Williams Harridge oversaw and approved of thousands of matters. While his facsimile signature is common on Official American League baseballs, his actual pennings are coveted and decidedly bold on both this 1944 correspondence and 1950 Philadelphia Athletics contract. Includes:

1944 Correspondence: typewritten on an 8-1/2 x 11” sheet of American League stationery, the letter is addressed to famed baseball scribe J.G. Taylor Spink and dated “March 22, 1944.” It reads (in full):

My dear Taylor:

I am still in a bit of a quandary as to why the Chesterfield Company or their advertising agency would not give us the facts regarding the Chandler incident, particularly when the player subjected himself, to do something for them, to a five-hundred dollar fine. We will not impose the fine against Chandler because I am convinced from his own statement that he received no compensation from the Chesterfield Company.

I have no interest in the statement from Flynn.

With best wishes, I am

Sincerely yours,

(signed) Will Harridge

Executed in black-ink fountain pen, Harridges’s endorsement projects every bit of (“9-10”) potency. The sheet has normal mailing folds and age-induced browning confined to the borders.

1950 Philadelphia Athletics Contract: While his career .063 batting average (1-for-16) didn’t say much for his physical abilities, former catcher O’Donnell had a keen eye for talent, or so thought the Athletics when they inked him to this contract. The two-page American League “Uniform Employe’s (sic) Contract” features printed legal details and typewritten specifics listing O’Donnell’s “$4800” salary as a baseball “scout.” At the conclusion, O’Donnell and Athletics vice president Roy Mack (son of Connie Mack) signed in blue ink (both “8-9” strength). On the back folded portion, Harridge’s black-ink fountain pen scripting projects (“8-9”) strength, as well.

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