Impressive Collection of Ty Cobb Letters and Photograph with (6) Signatures  
Lot Number 689
 
Quantity: Bid Starts: 03/17/2008 10:00:00 
Bid Open: 2500.00  Bid Ends: 04/03/2008 23:58:28 
Bid Count: 16  Overtime: 30 Minutes
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Description

The majority of baseball historians are well versed in the colorful stories surrounding the boorish nature of Ty Cobb. However, the motivations of this iconic pre-war star are often shrouded in a veil of mystery. This collection of eight Cobb-related letters and a single-signed photograph provides an impressive glimpse into the everyday life of the Hall of Famer both as an active player and retired businessman. This compilation spans four decades and contains hand-written letters, typed letters and dictated multi- and single-page letters, notes and an impressive dated and signed 8x10 photograph. The addressee for the majority of this correspondence was the well-traveled author and entrepreneur Helene Champlain. According to the Helene Champlain Papers 1932-1969 from the New York Public Library Online Archive, Ms. Champlain was a devoted associate to numerous high-profile actors and playwrights, thus making Cobb an unusual choice as a confidante. Within these letters, which cover 27 years from 1922-1948, an uncharacteristically sympathetic and well-read Cobb emerges. For instance, in a dictated 4-page letter from 1948 that was signed by “The Georgia Peach” (d.1961, “9”), Cobb proclaims his adoration for Ms. Champlain’s parents and critiques the writings of several authors. In another letter from the same year that had been dictated and signed by Cobb, he seems quite eager to meet with Ms. Champlain and asks her to spend a few days with him at his Lake Tahoe home. The cancelled addressed envelope for the second piece is included. A 1948 single-page note written entirely in Cobb’s hand (“8”) informed Ms. Champlain of some of his health problems, provided a brief book review and a request for more reading material. An additional Cobb written note from 1924 on Detroit Tigers letterhead informed Helene of his travel plans to Washington, DC and detailed his desire to secure a game ticket for one of Ms. Champlain’s friends. Cobb signed this note with an informal “Ty” (“9”). For the collector that covets ephemera with baseball content, there are four interesting pieces. At the forefront is an incredible 8x10 black and white photograph of Cobb as a young Tiger signed in blue ink (“8”) and dated (7/2/48) and three typed letters dating to the 1922 and 1923 seasons. In these typed letters (two of which are secretarial signatures, other grades “9”), Cobb mentions the potentiality of Ms. Champlain dating Davy Jones or any other of his teammates. In a 1922 letter from St. Louis, Cobb described a “very bad game today, thanks to a couple of umpires. It is really too nasty to talk about.” The final letter to Helene is undated, and from Cobb’s wife, which details the route of an autographed baseball. The final typed and secretarial-signed letter dates to 1922 on Detroit Tigers letterhead and is addressed to Ms. Champlain’s father. In this two-page letter, Cobb laments the Tigers third place finish and consequentially criticizes certain members of the pitching staff. Unless noted and with the exception of the hand-written note from Mrs. Cobb, each letter is on personalized letterhead and penned in period blue or black ink. This gathering of Cobb-related ephemera is an extraordinary glimpse into the personal life of this controversial and enigmatic figure. COA from James Spence Authentications. 
 
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