One-page typed letter, dated February 7, 1925, signed by Hall of Fame owner Barney Dreyfuss (1865-1932). In his letter, on Pittsburgh Athletic Company stationery, Dreyfuss writes to former Pirates pitcher "Ginger" Beaumont regarding a reunion of the 1901 Pirates team. In full:
My dear "Ginger":- You have probably read that the National League is celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year and in connection with this celebration in Pittsburgh I have decided to try to bring together the 1901 team (the first to win a pennant for Pittsburgh) to play a few innings against the present Pirates. I am going to stage the affair on June 6th, and I hope to have you on hand. I will want you to come two or three days ahead of time, and will pay all expenses of the trip and during your stay here. I intend to have a banquet with you old boys as the guest of honor, will fit you out in new uniforms which will be exact duplicates of those worn in 1901 and after the game will give them to you as souvenirs of the occasion. I am sure you will have a mighty good time. Trusting to have a favorable reply in the very near future, with kindest regards, I am Cordially yours, Barney Dreyfuss [signed].
Dreyfuss' signature has been beautifully scripted in black fountain pen and grades "9/10." As most collectors are aware, Barney Dreyfuss' signature is one of the rarest of all Hall of Fame members. The reason for that is twofold. First, as an owner, his signature was not sought after by the few serious autograph collectors during that era. Second, since he died in 1932, but wasn't elected to the Hall of Fame until 2008, few collectors had reason to seek out his autograph. To have a handwritten letter from Dreyfuss, with significant baseball content no less, is certainly the ideal for any advanced collector. Dreyfuss, who had owned Louisville's entry in the National League before the league scaled back and dropped the club in 1900, obtained sole ownership of the Pirates in 1901. During his thirty-two years as head of the Pirates, Dreyfuss was one of the more influential team owners and oversaw the construction of Forbes Field in 1909, which at the time was considered the finest baseball stadium in the Major Leagues. During his tenure the Pirates won four pennants and two World Championships. The letter (8.25 x 11 inches) displays one horizontal and two vertical folds, surface-paper loss along the top border of the reverse, minor edge tears along the top border, moderate rippling along the top edge, and a few minor creases. In Good to Very Good condition overall. Auction LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open).