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Connie Mack

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 “The boys looked pretty good yesterday – only hope they can keep it up”

Cornelius McGillicuddy, also known as Connie Mack, 1862–1956.  American baseball player, manager, and team owner.  Autograph letter signed, Connie Mack, one page, 6” x 9”, on stationery of the Hotel New Yorker, New York, New York, April 16, 1947.  With original envelope.

Mack, then the 84-year-old manager of the Philadelphia Athletics, seems a bit apprehensive about his team as he thanks a friend for sending best wishes for the upcoming Major League baseball season.  He writes, in full:  “Was awful nice of you to send wire with best wishes for the season.  The boys looked very good yesterday – only hope they can keep it up.  Please excuse short note as I am very busy at this time.  Hope you are in good health and will see you at the game in Detroit shortly, best wishes / Sincerely yours . . . ”

When Mack wrote this letter, the A’s were in New York to open the American League season against the New York Yankees.  The day before, they won on opening day 6–1 on a six-hit complete game by Philadelphia right-hander Phil Marchildon, who struck out six Yankees and walked five while holding the Yankees scoreless until the bottom of the eighth inning.  Marchildon went on to have a 19–9 season, posting a 3.22 earned run average in 35 starts.

But there was a reason for Mack’s apprehension.  The A’s lost the next six games in a row before beating Boston twice and tying once, beating Cleveland, and then losing four more straight, two in Detroit—where Mack wrote that he would see his friend—and two in Chicago.  Their record was 4–10–1 after 15 games.  The A’s finished the 1947 season with an overall barely winning record of 78–76–2.  They were 19 games out behind the Yankees, who went on to win the World Series 4–3 over the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Mack served as a manger longer than any person in Major League Baseball history.  He began his baseball career as a catcher and played 11 seasons from 1886 to 1896, the last three as a player-manager in Pittsburgh.  When American League President Ban Johnson asked him to establish a baseball club in Philadelphia, in 1901 Mack he became the manager, treasurer, and part owner of the Athletics.  He managed the A’s for 50 seasons, retiring at age 87 after the 1950 season.  During his tenure in Philadelphia, he won 3,582 games, nine pennants, and five World Series.  He holds the Major League record for most wins (3,731) and losses (3,948) as a manager and the most games managed (7,755).  He was a member of the second class of inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, in 1937.

This is a very nice letter.  Mack has written and signed it in black fountain pen.  The letter shows a bit of handling, has two normal horizontal mailing folds, one of which affects the signature, and has evidence of a vertical bend that is also seen in the accompanying envelope.  Mack has also addressed the envelope, which has been cleanly opened on the left end but has a small ¼” tear at the top left.  The envelope shows considerable soiling on the back.  Overall, the envelope is in very good condition, and the letter is fine.

Unframed.  Click here for information on custom framing this piece.


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