In the lengthy and often agonizing history of the Chicago Cubs, prominent figures come to mind. Specifically, a billy goat, Don Young, Leon Durham and Steve Bartman are certain to conjure up memories of a 108-year drought. While a long-awaited title has brought to life apparel, autographs and new-found identity, links to those original World Series rosters are fleeting, indeed. This correspondence was composed as the Cubs on the brink of their third pennant in four years. Surpassing that decidedly attractive detail, the lengthy letter is signed at its conclusion by both Mordecai Brown and Orval Overall: the 1907 winning pitchers (two games apiece) in the Cubs’ first-ever World Series championship.
Written in black-ink steel tip fountain pen on 10 sheets of stationery from New York’s Hotel Somerset, the letter is dated “Sep. 16, 1910” and composed entirely in Overall’s hand. It is addressed to “D.A. Fletcher,” a promoter of the era who was attempting to sign Major League players to perform in postseason exhibitions. The content is incredible, touching on everything from greedy owners, player solidarity and free agency.
At the conclusion, both Overall and Brown have signed. Both scriptings project (“9”) potency and conclude a priceless diamond heirloom in grand style.
The date and location are consistent with the Cub’s 1910 schedule, as they began a series in Brooklyn the following day. Comes with a full photo LOA from JSA. More on our website.
The letter reads (in full):
All the members of our club who have received your check and signed the contract, will stick with you to the end. Your letter cautioning us in regard to bluffs by other parties was received and appreciated. Mr. Fletcher I want to tell you in behalf of the other Cubs, Brown, Kling, Evers, Hoffman (sic) and myself, that if you are sincere in your efforts (as we believe you are) that you can depend on us absolutely.
We are all tired of the persecutions we have been subjected to by organized base ball. It is too one sided and in my opinion their disposition as hogs will in time ruin a good thing for them.
They are not satisfied with fifty percent a year for their money they want a hundred percent and the players who make that for them haven’t a chance in the world if they have to depend on base ball for their living. The drawing cards and all alike here must take what they can get and never in their career as a player do they have a chance to dispose of their services themselves. The owner (I admit) must have some protection.
My idea is that it wouldn’t be a bad scheme to limit the reserve clause to three of five years and in that way a player sometime during his career will become a free agent and then he can have the pleasure of managing his own affairs. Some favorable interpretation of this reserve clause will help you materially in your efforts to organize the new league.
You will have no trouble getting any man you want.
Base ball is on the verge of a big fight and a new major league will save all that trouble. There is plenty room for another one and its only a matter of time until it comes.
Base ball is here to stay that is a certainty. Mr. Brown told me that he tried to see Mr. Calahan before leaving but was made to find him. If you wish we will have some of our friends tend to the matter for you.
Let us know if there are any players you wish us to see. We will guarantee any one you want.
We want you to understand that we are with you and that you have our combined support. Don’t hesitate to call on any of us and at any time.
With best wishes and hoping that we may be of immediate service to you we are sincerely
(signed) Orval Overall
(signed) Mordecai Brown
206 Englewood Ave