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Branch Rickey 1943 TLS to Dodgers' Larry French with WWII Content

Lot Number 836

Quantity: Bid Starts: 01/26/2018 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 150.00  Bid Ends: 02/08/2018 23:30:00 
Bid Count: 10  Overtime: 30 Minutes
Currently: 325.00  Time Left: Ended
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Yes, Larry French. One of the most overlooked hurlers of them all. French won nearly 200 games and would've won more had he not decided to devote his life to the U.S. Navy. In fact, French's 14th and final season was arguably his best (thanks to a new knuckleball) as the 34-year-old Dodger southpaw went 15-4 with a 1.83 ERA and 4 shutouts! That off-season, Branch Rickey sent French this letter, which includes phenomenal WWII content (in bold here): "I know that you are in the Navy, but I don't have any official notice enabling me to place your name on the National Defense list. Therefore, it is necessary for me to send contract to you at this time...I am very sorry indeed that you cannot be with us this coming season and I hope that before the year is over we will have won the war and you will be back with us again helping to win a pennant in Brooklyn. This hope is not a very confident one, as I really feel that the war will last much longer than the present season." Rickey's black-ink signature rates "9", and the 8-1/2 x 11" sheet of official Dodgers stationery shows light filing wear. Auction LOA from JSA.

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