From a bygone era during which loyalty and the bonding of teammates were unbreakable holds, this typewritten signed letter conveys the lifelong ties between a Hall of Fame owner and a legendary player whom he was credited with discovering. Composed and endorsed by famed executive Barney Dreyfuss (d.1932) on an 8-3/8 x 10-7/8” sheet of vintage Pittsburgh Pirates letterhead with a Forbes Field address, the correspondence is dated “July 16th, 1920” and addressed to Hall of Famer Fred C. Clarke at his Winfield, Kansas post-playing career residence. The typewritten content reads (in full):
Am in receipt of your letter 11th, instant, and note you were unable to make the trip to Wichita. Many thanks just the same, as we know you would have done it if it were practical. For your information, would advise that we have purchased Tierney, who will come to us after the close of the Tulsa Clubs season, or sooner if things break so that the club can let us have him earlier. Did not do anything on McManus.
Along this line, any time you are looking them over at a game out your way, would be glad to have you let us know if any of them look worth while to you.
As to Sam, would advise that he never heard from you, and, of course, did not call of Mr. Trees.
As to being busy, would say that I am in your class, as I have not been able to get in any golf, either, this season. Too busy on week days, on Sundays it generally rains.
Glad you are threshing your wheat, and hope you have a bumper crop – may bring down the price of our flour.
With best wishes to you and all, and hoping to hear from you often, I beg to remain,
Yours very truly,
The black-ink steel tip fountain pen scripting shows elegant penmanship and projects (“9”) strength and clarity.
As for the letter’s content, Clarke, in a scouting capacity, had touted both Cotton Tierney and Marty McManus of the Western League’s Tulsa Oilers. Tierney was to latch on with the Pirates, while McManus signed with the St. Louis Browns. Regarding the Kansas ranch, Clarke had put a down payment on it way back during his rookie year as a player (1894) and made a considerable profit when oil was discovered on it. The crisp page presents beautifully and has normal compacting folds to facilitate mailing.
Accompanying is a full photo LOA from JSA.