Decidedly tight fisted by almost all accounts, Hall of Fame executive Charles Comiskey harnessed his star players throughout an era preceding free agency. A tyrannical czar presiding over a club that won three American League pennants and two World Series crowns (with a third title allegedly “thrown” by his players in protest), Comiskey (d.1931) composed and signed this letter during the 1912 season. On a 7-1/4 x 9-3/4” vintage sheet of Chicago White Sox letterhead, the correspondence is dated “June 8, 1912” and addressed to a Portland, Maine resident. It reads (in full):
“My dear Sir:
I am in receipt of your letter of June 4th, and it is satisfactory to me to have you work as a scout on the same basis as the previous one. You may start out upon receipt of this letter and keep me advised where you are from time to time, and also what you are doing.
I have this day written to J. Halstein and advised him that I will furnish transportation so he can join the club in Chicago. Let me hear what position he is best fitted for.
With kindest personal regards, I am,
Chas A Comiskey”
The black-ink steel tip fountain pen scripting projects ("9-10") potency.
In the matter of the referenced player, perhaps an injury took place or (more likely) Comiskey was not about to pay for his transportation. Comiskey’s promise to “furnish transportation” never came to fruition. John Halstein, a first baseman who hit .335 for the New England League’s Lowell Grays that year, never appeared with the White Sox (or with any other Major League team).
The letter presents beautifully with normal compacting folds to facilitate mailing. Accompanying is a full photo LOA from JSA.