Summer Premier Auction 2019

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/28/2019

As he strolled the sidelines looking dapper in his trademark houndstooth fedora and matching black and suit plaid suit, Paul "Bear" Bryant had an intimidating presence that let opponents know, my boys mean business. And his boys sure backed it up. His Crimson Tide teams won six National Championships and 14 SEC titles over an unprecedented 25-year stretch of dominance. After playing for Alabama in the 1930's and coaching several teams over the next 20+ years, Bear Bryant returned to his alma mater as head coach in 1958. "Momma called," as the 'Bama God so eloquently out it. "And when Momma calls, you just have to come runnin'."

His old school "no pain, no gain" mentality and brutal spring practice sessions became legendary, working players to the bone and driving the weak-hearted to quit. A heavy drinker and smoker, Bryant's health began to catch up to him toward the end of his reign in Tuscaloosa as he suffered a cardiac episode and light stroke. After coaching his last game at the end of the '82 season, he was asked what he planned to do in retirement. "Probably croak in a week." Sadly, he was practically clairvoyant. Just four weeks later, Bryant checked himself into the hospital complaining of chest pain. He died the very next day, January 26, 1983, of a heart attack.

This typed signed letter by Bear Bryant was written the day he went the hospital and a day before his death. It is quite possibly the very last signature in his hand. Ironically, Bryant is giving his condolences to the family of a recently deceased Alabama State Trooper named Joe who used to provide security for the Crimson Tide football team.

"I'll miss him a whole lot and I hope that if I pattern my life a little like his and when it's all over I could have just a few people thinking about me as I did and do him."

The letter has outstanding provenance, coming from a relative of this fallen member of law enforcement. It comes on University of Alabama Athletic Department letterhead and the legendary coach has signed "Bear Bryant" in brownish-red pen that rates 6-7/10 in our book. Includes full LOA from PSA/DNA.

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $200
Final prices include buyers premium.: $389
Number Bids: 5
Auction closed on Saturday, September 28, 2019.
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