Spring Premier Auction 2019


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/27/2019

ADDENDUM: Lot heading updated from catalog to include O'Malley TSL.

In conjunction with Lot 235 comes this group of four Carl Erskine letters and one typed signed letter from Dodgers longtime owner and president, Walter O'Malley. Erskine befriended a local Brooklyn deli owner named Abe Myerson who delivered him sandwiches whenever he pitched (mentioned in Erskine's autobiography on page 74). Erskine handwrote two letters to Abe and his wife, Reina, signing off with "Carl" at the end.

One is dated July 29, 1955, and he writes in 6/10 black ink, "Thanks for your wire in Cincy -- Guess I just started back too soon. My arm just wouldn't let me do my job. Hope I'll be ready in a few days." This is in reference to Erkine's short start against the Reds on July 27, 1955, when he lasted just four innings after a two-week layoff due presumably to an injury. An interesting example of a player being hard on himself to perform. He finished the season 11-8 with a 3.79 ERA that season and helped Brooklyn win it's one and only World Series.

Erkine's second handwritten letter, postmarked June 22, 1959, gives a very personal and humbling account of the right-hander's retirement literally days after he decided to call it quits. In 7/10 blue ballpoint, it reads, "Well all good things must come to an end and it finally happened to me. Maybe you were surprised but you can be sure it was no snap decision. For almost two years I've been trying to get straightened out and I believe I gave myself every opportunity to come around. I hadn't been of much value to the club this year. Batty [wife] and I talked it out and when I went in to see Bavasi [GM Buzzie] I had my mind made up. I can't say I won't miss baseball. I know I will but I think I'll miss seeing all the friends I've made even more. You were real friends to me and I've always appreciated your thoughtfulness and many favors. Our very best to all of you for health and happiness." The original envelope with the Dodgers logo and return address at the L.A. Coliseum (before Dodger Stadium was built) is included; Erskine crossed out "Ticket Office" and signed his full name on the outside for clarification of who sent it. The Dodgers had move to L.A. at that point and would go on to win their first World Series on the west coast in '59. Erskine went 0-3 his final season, his last appearance being June 14 when he was torched for four runs in 2/3 of an inning. However, he retired as certainly one of the more important starting pitchers for the Dodgers during the '50s.

Two Christmas cards, including one with a snapshot photo of Erkine's immediate family, are also included in this lot, with all the names of Carl's family handwritten (one looks to be in his hand). Last, but certainly not least, is a typed letter by Walter O'Malley on Brooklyn Dodgerrs letterhead dated April 20, 1956. Addressed to the Mr. and Mrs. Abe Myerson, it thanks the couple for their "telegram of good wishes." The esteemed team owner signed his name in 5-6/10 blue ink. What a collection of personal letters during a glorious era of Dodgers baseball.

All signatures (Erskine & O'Malley) pre-certified by PSA/DNA.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $150
Final prices include buyers premium.: $523
Number Bids: 8
Auction closed on Saturday, April 27, 2019.
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