Instrumental in the development of baseball, Sheffield, England native Harry Wright played center field for baseball’s first fully professional team and went on to make the pastime a lucrative business for its participants. As his Boston Red Caps had joined the National League, Wright wrote and signed this letter on New Year’s Eve, 1877. Composed in black-ink steel tip fountain pen on an 8x10” sheet of “Boston Base Ball Association” stationery, the correspondence reads (in full):
Your kind favor of the 21st was duly received conveying expressions of regret and sympathy from yourself and others of the St. Georges Cricket Club upon the death of father.
The sentiments you express are fully appreciated by us, for however sad we feel it is pleasant to know that the members of the club with which father was connected for so many years, still hold him in kindly and respectful remembrance.
That he even rationed his love for the club, was evidenced by the pleasure it gave him to recall old times, and relate the many games and trips in which he took part under its auspices.
After removing to Boston he suffered very much from rheumatism, which we sought to relieve the best we could.
About a year ago he had a severe spell of sickness when we learned, too late to effect a cure, that he was afflicted with “Bright’s disease of the kidneys.” His physician told us that another such attack would be fatal, and though he rallied somewhat afterwards, we noticed a gradual decline till on Sunday the 9th when he was sitting at dinner he was stricken with paralysis – his third stroke – which affected his right side and rendered him helpless and unconscious till he passed away quietly on the morning of the 19th.
He was buried from his residence, Dorchester, (near brother George) his remains being interred in Forest Hills Cemetery.
Thanking you and the other members of the club for your kind remembrance of father.
Yours Very Respectfully
(signed) Harry Wright”
Consistent with the elegant penmanship throughout the correspondence, Wright’s black-ink steel tip fountain pen signature projects (“8-9”) strength and clarity, with a mailing/compacting fold very minimally affecting the surname. A monumental addition to any Hall of Fame collection, this is among the earliest diamond collectibles signed by one of the most historically significant pioneers of the National Pastime. Accompanying is a full photo LOA from JSA. This item has a reserve (estimated value: $4,000 - $6,000).