Lot # 122: Outstanding Christy Mathewson 1925 Signed Letter Written Completely in his Hand – PSA 8 NM-MT AUTO; PSA Encapsulation

Category: Autographs

Starting Bid: $2,500.00

Bids: 18 (Bid History)

Time Left: Auction closed
Lot / Auction Closed

This lot is closed. Bidding is not allowed.

Item was in Auction "Winter Rarities '23 Auction",
which ran from 12/10/2022 12:00 PM to
1/7/2023 7:00 PM

(LOT 122)
Outstanding Christy Mathewson 1925 Signed Letter Written Completely in his Hand – PSA 8 NM-MT AUTO; PSA Encapsulation

Due to the immortal Christy Mathewson's untimely death on October 7, 1925 from tuberculosis at the tender age of 45 (resulting from the ill effects of breathing poisonous gas in WWI), only a scant gathering of signed artifacts still exist with Mathewson's iconic signature. While Ruth, Cobb, Wagner and Johnson (the remaining four HOF charter members) signatures are certainly desirable, Mathewson's is significantly rarer, typically demanding an immense premium well in excess of five figures. With regard to a Mathewson signed letter, for the few examples that have survived a century of time, a majority of them are typed documents with Mathewson's exalted signature affixed at the end of the letter. That said, presented here just happens to be a handwritten letter scripted completely in Christy Mathewson's hallowed right hand and signed "Matty" at the bottom. PSA authenticated/encapsulated and assigned a superb PSA 8 NM-MT autograph grade, the letter has been written on Boston Braves letterhead and dated April 8, 1925, only six months before Christy's tragic passing.

Mathewson had teamed up with N.Y. Giants esteemed attorney Emil "Judge" Fuchs in 1923 to piece together a syndicate that would buy the Boston Braves, with Matty serving as principal owner and team president. However, due to his declining health as a result of his tuberculosis illness, the Big Six could only engage in nominal duties. This amazing 1925 letter written on Boston Braves letterhead reveals Matty writing to Braves vice-president Emil "Judge" Fuchs from his Saranac Lake, New York residence and reads as follows: "Dear Judge, I am not going to be able to leave here today for Boston, but I do expect to feel well enough to arrive next Tuesday. If we have not already done so, let's find out who is interested in McNamara. Hope the weather is as fine in Boston Saturday as it has been here this week. – With Best Regards, Matty." Other than a few standard horizontal mailing folds and some negligible toning along the upper edge, the letter has eluded any noteworthy flaws over the past 98 years, surviving in aesthetically pleasing condition.

Regarding Mathewson's unparalleled baseball stature, at the turn of the 20th century, he would embark on a virtually unparalleled Hall of Fame career that includes an incredible 373 victories. Christy would ultimately become the most beloved, worshiped and admired pre-WWI baseball player, the "turn of the century" Babe Ruth in popularity, with his unequivocal decency earning him the revered nickname "The Christian Gentleman". Along with his NL record 373 wins (tied for top honors with Grover Alexander), Matty posted a microscopic lifetime ERA of 2.13. He won 30 or more games in four different seasons (including three consecutive years from 1903-'05) and won 20+ games for 12 consecutive seasons (1903-'14). Mathewson was famous for his pinpoint control as well as his virtually un-hittable fade away pitch (now more commonly called the screwball), ably assisting the New York Giants to claim four pennants and one World Championship during his N.Y. Giants 17-year tenure.

It was that 1905 championship campaign that the Big Six twirled a miraculous three complete-game World Series shutouts against Connie Mack's mighty Philadelphia Athletics, a record that will outlast eternity. Never again will our National Pastime witness such a performance on its grandest stage, prompting the legendary Mack to eventually state: "Mathewson was the greatest pitcher I ever saw. It was great to watch him pitch when he wasn't pitching against you!" Mathewson left an indelible mark on our National Pastime due to his arguable stature as baseball's greatest all-time hurler, and what finer possible keepsake could any avid Mathewson fan hope to obtain than a breathtaking Christy Mathewson letter written completely in his hand only six months before he passed away on October 7, 1925. With that said, now is the time to seize this grand opportunity by jumping aboard the "Big Six" and riding this museum worthy heirloom directly to the winner's circle!

MIN BID $2,500

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