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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/23/2020

Offered here is an incredible seven-page (four sheets) handwritten letter by Hall of Famer Ty Cobb. Written in his famous green pen, this letter is dated to February 21, 1953 and is a truly captivating and personal account of his first few years in professional baseball. This magnificent and historic letter was sent to Cecil Darby, Sports Editor of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer of Georgia and Editor of the 1953 South Atlantic League Dope Book. Darby was requesting info from Cobb, who wrote to the editor, making sure Darby’s facts were absolutely correct for the publication upon its release. The four sheets and seven handwritten pages are in excellent condition, with normal mailing folds and the writing and two signatures are bold throughout.

                The letter reads: Page 1 “Dear Darby: yours received in reply will say you have my consent to use material as attributed in your letter, but you have asked of me a task I must refuse, I can do it, but I blink al of such that I can. Now get a “Baseball Register” of 1951 from Taylor Sprink, Sporting News, 2018 Washington Ave., St Louis (3) Mo. Salsinger of Detroit News has an introductory article on myself you will find all the material you need relative to myself in South Atlantic League. I will make a correction or so and add some not covered, then you do the thing you want for your “Dope Book” only. I played amateur baseball in Royston, GA, without knowledge of my father. I wrote every club that was being formed as South Atlantic League had only one reply from Lou Stouthers Mgr. Augusta club, he extended the privilege of a try out if I paid all my expenses, rail fare (Page 2) and hotel also furnish own uniform. I was more than happy, his generous offer. I worked in their training period, not too many tryouts back that time, 1904. First baseman Harry Bussey had some contract difficulties and was not allowed to play in first two games of opening season, center fielder McMillan played first base and someone had to play in his position and there was no one else but me, no doubt you can dig up box scores of those first two games; I really did well, was only 17 years of age, naturally green, third game Bussey back at first base, McMillan in center and Cobb released. I was leading the club in hitting; the part about calling up my father and saying not to come a failure was very true and very unusual and unexpected as coming from my father, in explanation, he opposed my playing baseball as a profession, he was in position to get and did have an appointment to West Point, which was bondage to me and I opposed

                Third page: “then it was to University of Ga. that he wanted me to go – I was not quite ready at 17, so I had signed a contract, not of age etc., my clothes packed, train leaving next morning – I had to announce my acts and desires to leave after dinner the night before I was to leave early next morning, well it was up & down the floor, hands behind his back, and my father being an unusually well educated man and an outstanding orator, I probably heard the greatest arguments any boy ever heard against baseball and going straight on the downward path, associates. etc. – it simply was not done in those days by Southern boys (professional baseball). Well I won out about 3 a.m. with checks to pay my way;….back now to my release with all this: I expected my father to say come home – when he stated don’t come a failure and consented my going to Anniston Ala. Semi pro league, he surely put determination into me. …. Strothers having released the Ga. boy (Cobb) (Fourth Page) and he boy being very fortunate in the two games and my leading the Tri state League then called and Strothers the Chicago Yankee manager not winning so well in Augusta, ‘oh yes!’ he tried to get me to come back but “he had done me wrong” and I refused the promotion to a larger & organized baseball league, the(y) finally & literally chased him out of Augusta, then owners asked me etc. so I cam back, Andy Roth manager; Andy was what is called a joy club manager, also would not let me steal bases, heckled me etc., he finally was fired and went to Savannah, as catcher Leidy (George), rather a gentleman type, was appointed manager, he turned me loose; pitched to me for an hour at a time before games??? bunting practice to a sweater on 3rd base line-the peanut business was true and Roth then with Savannah hit the ball, Leidy the Augusta manager, I had no serious thoughts to make baseball a profession, drifted along with the spirit of the club-Leidy had been mgr. only short time

(Page 5)Leidy took me in hand, very kindly, all of Salinger’s story correct as to car rides & talks, he did much to fix my ideas & ambitions, I had the pleasure much later to secure him a scouting job with Detroit when he need a job etc. –the peanut incident was not on opening day, was as I have related, I had a bag of peanuts in my glove hand and eating etc., ball was hit to me, tried to catch ball, did not want to drop bag and expose what I was doing, so I lost ball & also peanuts. Then Leidy had something to work on etc. I was not berated-Kindly-Rest of story is correct I suppose, haven’t time to go over it, use what you want-‘oh yes!’ South Atlantic League in 1905 if you look up rosters, had many players who to major leagues. Sorry cannot do your research work. On our club alone we had Cicotte, Clyde Engle Boston Red Sox, Nap Rucker & Ducky Holms pitchers Brooklyn etc. ‘yes’-Detroit left Cicotte in Augusta and gave $500.00 for choice of club, they (Page 6) was interested in Clyde Engle a good looking prospect. Engle faded away after July 1st and I happened to lead league so they took me and wanted immediate delivery, that was in August 1905 so Augusta consented if they add $200.00 to option price, all this is official. This is all I can do for you. Your book no doubt is for profit, your efforts, why don’t you get some advertising in it. Do not use any material I have given in any other way, it would be compromising & embarrassing to me & my signed contracts etc. I am….Sincerely, Ty Cobb P.S. afterthought is if you want to take a little time to make your dope book unusual & add much to it, here is my suggestion, take all players who started or played in South Atlantic League from first year and list all and with records if you wish (majors) that reach the Major Leagues, you will be

(Page 7) astounded at the great number and great players, go through list of year (players)-no doubt Pres. of South Atlantic could furnish out of office the players back through the past-when this is one and all the names shown, South Atlantic will go down in baseball history as the minor league having had more players reaching the majors than any other league in baseball-look at the few on front page of your 1949 book. It won’t take too much time if you can get Pres. of league to cooperate-but you will bring out something of great surprise and be widely commended upon…This is a great opportunity I think. ‘Ty’ Don’t spread them out-list them altogether in front pages or middle of book-the list & numbers will surely make an impact upon all. ….I myself can think of many-Bugs Raymond, Phil Douglas, Ferrell brothers and on & on. do this.”

                A truly one-of-a-kind letter with fascinating insight from Cobb. This letter comes with a LOA from JSA.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $7,800.00
Number Bids: 25
Auction closed on Sunday, February 23, 2020.
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