Mailed nineteen days before his death...1950 Grover Cleveland Alexander Double-Signed Hall of Fame Plaque, PSA/DNA Authentic. He's the saddest figure of the Hall of Fame's inaugural class, a brilliant athlete who succumbed to his personal demons after leaving the limelight, and ultimately to an ignominious death in a Nebraska boarding house in 1950. An unfinished letter to his ex-wife was found in his typewriter when a friend discovered his body. Just nineteen days earlier, having recently returned from New York City where he watched the final two games of a Yankees World Series sweep of the "Whiz Kid" Phillies, Alexander mailed this Albertype postcard to an autograph collector. It is almost certainly the last Hall of Fame plaque he ever signed.
To be clear, all indications suggest that Alexander signed very few of these highly collectible postcards at all--in fact, only a single other example appears in the hobby's leading auction results archive, a $79,000 result in February of this year. So for those advanced collectors who had largely abandoned the idea of compiling a comprehensive assembly of all eleven inaugural class members alive for the 1939 Grand Opening of the Hall of Fame, this may well be your last chance to avoid that fate.
While it might seem silly to debate superiority between a population of two, it does bear mentioning that this is clearly the finer example. Beyond the fact that this specimen provides a full first name on obverse--Grover C. Alexander--while the other example bears the far more common "GC" format, a handwritten message on verso is equally bold at 9/10:
"Am gladly adding my signature to this picture, A Friend, GC Alexander."
The postcard itself exhibits a minor degree of handling wear from mailing and storage, but nothing that draws any visual distraction. Included is a July 1950 original letter to the postcard's recipient from the Baseball Hall of Fame supplying the mailing addresses of Alexander and six other enshrinees. Full LOA from SGC Authentic. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.
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