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The career pitching victories leader sends a warm message to the runner-up

1927 Cy Young Handwritten Signed Letter of Congratulations to Walter Johnson. Many great pitchers have come and gone throughout baseball history, and dozens have their plaques enshrined in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. But residing on a Mount Olympus of the game, there would only be a handful, and two of those would certainly be Cy Young and Walter Johnson. Young was of the generation preceding Johnson's, beginning his career at the dawn of the modern game in 1890, and their careers overlapped only briefly. Two games pitched against each other, and only one start, was the totality of the intersection of their careers.

By the time of this letter, in 1927, Johnson had broken many of the records set by Young, including the career strikeout mark, which by now Johnson had eclipsed by a good margin. Cy Young stood alone with more than 511 wins, but Walter Johnson was the only other pitcher in history to venture north of the 400 mark. But these men had more in common than statistics, each being plain-speaking farm boys elevated to fame and success by an unusual talent on the diamond, and both ending their careers with an untarnished reputation for integrity and sportsmanship. The sentiments expressed in this letter between them are clearly genuine, and heartwarming.

"July 31st, 1927
Mr. Walter Johnson
Washington DC

Dear Friend Walter,

Allow me to congratulate you on your big day the 2nd. May you continue the good work for many years to come. I was sorry about your injury last spring. Give my best wishes to Griff and all the boys on the team. Wishing your club the best luck ever,

I remain yours very truly,

Cy Young
Peoli, Ohio"

The single handwritten page exhibits original mailing folds and a stain from the glue of the envelope at lower right, but the document otherwise exhibits no condition issues worthy of note (short of minor scrapbook residue on verso that is invisible upon display), and all ink survives at a conservative strength of 8/10 or better. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication. Letter of provenance from Walter Johnson's daughter & grandson.


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Auction Dates
February, 2013
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