2019 Winter Auction Closing March 2
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 3/2/2019

Offered here is a handwritten 3-page letter written by Hall of Famer Ty Cobb to baseball writer Phil Elderkin dated March 7, 1955. The letter has been penned in green and the first page has “TYRUS R. COBB 48 SPENCER LANE, ATHERNTON MENLO PARK, CALIFORNIA stamped at the top. The two corresponding pages have “TYRUS R. COBB” printed in black at the top of each page and subsequently crossed out in green pen (with a handwritten note at the top that reads “out of 2nd sheets”).

Elderkin was a baseball writer for the Christian Science Monitor out of Boston and Cobb’s letter details his feelings on the game of 1955 compared to when he laced up the spikes. Cobb was not a big fan of the “lively ball” or the “What’s wrong with the game” articles of the day. The letter appears to be a response from a previous letter Elderkin sent Cobb requesting to do a story. Cobb, as he states later on in the letter, is bound by various agreements not to write about anything related to baseball, but he could be quoted. The letter reads:

Dear Mr. Elderkin:- yours received. I agree with you as the type of baseball played today, back in the years there was real interest, excitement in the stands, fans on their feet with home club rallies etc, cheering, they then were really a part of the days game close score games, real competition. Washington they might be in last place but they would come to town with, Johnson, Groom, Dally Gray and Lou Joiu Hughes also others and you might defeat them but you did so 1 to 0 – 2 to 1 etc. also the crowds were out.

The one run has no value today with the lively ball, also back in those years, you never saw in papers anything of “whats wrong with baseball” and suggestion of some phooey or artificial changes per last very several years, baseball was real baseball when we had bunt, sacrifice bunt, hit + run, and the squeeze play also the outfield on (end of page 1)

Defense was a part of defense not back near the fences and have to relay ball to an infielder, then a man had to hustle to score from 2nd base and the close lays at plate, run meaning everything the crowd was on their feet. I cannot write anything under my name per agreements, contracts etc. I can be quoted of course. Oh! Yes where is the stolen base and its vale also threat, where are the sliders to bases, sure they have the ability, who could say the “old boys” were physically different only yes on the basis of good condition + practices, the boys of these years don’t do it and not all their fault, there is too much master minding and depriving the individual player of initiative and which would develop confidence and ability to execute plays.

The double platoon system, pray tell (end of page 2)

where would your Ruths, Eddie Collins, Speaker, Sisler, Jackson Rousch, Terry and goodness Knows how many others would be if they had suffered the platoon system. I have for many years in past, read your paper, so very conservative in every way, so well printed and presented. No story under my name please, quotes ok. Appreciate the honor your letter, Ja(sic).


Ty Cobb”

The pages measure 7 ¼ x 10 ½ inches and have two creases consistent with being placed in the 7 ½ x 4-inch envelope that also accompanies these letters. The envelope is addressed to “Mr. Phil Elderkin The Christian Science Monitor, #1 – Norway St., Boston, (15) Mass.” In green ink. “air mail” is also written in green ink at the top of the envelope with a postal mark of “MAR 8 1955”. The envelope has a tear at the top from when it was opened. The letters are in good condition, displaying only minor toning. The letters and envelope come with a 9 ¼ x 11 ½ -inch hardcover binder for protection. A terrific multi-page handwritten Ty Cobb letter and it comes with a LOA from JSA (Z67497).

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $20,400.00
Number Bids: 26
Auction closed on Sunday, March 3, 2019.
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