There are currently no items available for purchase in this Department. Search our Auction Archives below to find item values.

1937 President Franklin D. Roosevelt Signed Letter to Walter Johnson....

2013 February 23 - 24 Platinum Night Sports Auction - New York #7070

Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
Make Offer:
Make Offer to Owner

The owner of this Item has been actively participating in the Make Offer to Owner program.
Claim Item: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
Auction Ended On: Feb 23, 2013
Item Activity: 12 Internet/mail/phone bidders
1,146 page views
Location: Ukrainian Institute of America at The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion
2 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075

FDR congratulates the Big Train upon the occasion of a dinner in his honor
1937 President Franklin D. Roosevelt Signed Letter to Walter Johnson. Walter Johnson came to know a number of U.S. Presidents in his several decades in Washington. In 1910, at the tender age of twenty-two, Johnson was the recipient of the first Presidential Opening Day toss, a ball with which he, as the starting pitcher, was intended to begin the game. Instead, realizing the significance of the occasion, Johnson put that ball aside and used another for the game itself, which he won in a three to nothing one-hitter over the eventual World Champion Philadelphia Athletics. The next day an acquaintance with access to the White House took the ball to the President, who inscribed the following:

"To Walter Johnson, with the hope that he may continue to be as formidable as in yesterday's game. Wm. H. Taft."

Johnson ended his career with similar Opening Day balls signed by Presidents Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover, the five historic baseballs residing now as one of the prized collections of the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown.

Of all the Presidents with whom Walter Johnson became acquainted, however, none was a bigger baseball fan than the nation's thirty-second, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As Woodrow Wilson's Assistant Secretary of the Navy from 1913 to 1920, Roosevelt was a regular at Griffith Stadium. He helped raise the flag during Opening Day ceremonies in 1917, then led the Washington Senators in a military marching formation with bats over their shoulders instead of rifles in commemoration of the United States entrance into World War I two weeks earlier. As President, FDR threw out the opening pitch eight of his first nine years, at the World Series in 1933, and at the 1937 All-Star Game.

Johnson and Babe Ruth, each covering the 1933 World Series for a newspaper syndicate, were personally received by the President at the White House. And on November 5, 1937, Roosevelt sent this letter to the Mayflower Hotel in Washington on the occasion of a banquet celebration in honor of Johnson's 50th birthday:

"Dear Walter:

It is a pleasure to join with other fans who are planning a dinner in honor of one who has done so much to advance the national sport. As one of those fans who has followed your career with great admiration and interest, and as one farmer to another, I send you heartiest greetings.

Very sincerely yours,

[signed] Franklin D. Roosevelt"

The original White House envelope, addressed to "Mr. Walter Johnson, Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C." is included. Official White House stationery exhibits original mailing folds but no other faults. Autograph is 9/10. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication. Letter of provenance from Walter Johnson's daughter & grandson.

1937 President Franklin D. Roosevelt Signed Letter to Walter Johnson.

*A donation of $100 to the American Red Cross is required to attend the Live auction.

View large image(s) of this item

Service and Handling Description: Flat Material, Small (view shipping information)

Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

Find Auction Prices for Comparable Items:

Sign-in or Join (free & quick) to see the full image

Open For Bidding
Coming Soon
sold in the last year
  1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
  2. Bid online
  3. Free Collector newsletter
  4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
  5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
Consign to the 2015 May 14 - 16 Sports Collectibles Catalog Auction - Dallas.
Learn About Consigning With Us
What I most appreciated was how thorough you were when we initially met, how you were conservative in your estimates, not trying to get me to consign by giving false expectations, and then for delivering above and beyond on your commitment to me of a wonderful marketing campaign and a first rate catalog and photos, all of which resulted in a final total price realized that was nicely higher than what you had told me to expect.
Adam Mervis,
Decatur, IL
Map of upcoming Heritage events

Heritage Events Calendar

Long Beach Expo
[ view all events » ]
2014 November 6 - 8 Sports Catalog Auction - Dallas
2014 November 6 - 8 Sports Catalog Auction - Dallas
REALIZED $7,152,284
You could win!
Take the Survey