[1926 Autograph Letter Signed by Casey Stengel, Baseball Hall of Famer, from his Early Managerial Career; with Five Letters from other Baseball Executives and a Player].
“The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate me away from those who are still undecided.” —Casey Stengel
Handwritten letter from legendary baseball manager Casey Stengel. Likely one of the earliest letters from Stengel’s storied career to be offered for sale. Stengel was one of baseball’s greatest managers, only surpassed by Connie Mack, John McGraw, and Joe McCarthy. “The Old Professor,” Stengel was the only manager to win five consecutive championships (1949-53).
Stengel writes as manager of the Minor League Toledo Mud Hens. After one season as manager for the Worcester Panthers in 1925, Stengel joined the Toledo organization—his first sustained position as a baseball manager, serving there for five years, 1926–1931.
Stengel himself played in the minors before joining Major League Baseball. He went on to manage the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Boston Braves, and both the New York Yankees and Mets. He was an eight-time World Series champion and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1966.
Stengel here writes to former major league pitcher Harry A. Weaver of Clarendon, Pennsylvania who wants a position in the minor leagues. Harry Abraham Weaver (1892–1983) pitched in the major leagues from 1915 to 1919. While throwing for the Chicago Cubs in 1918, he helped them to win a National League pennant in 1918.¹
Stengel’s handwritten letter on the Toledo club letterhead was sent from California on February 9, 1926. It informs Weaver that the club is changing ownership and that the Toledo team is planning “…to get several players from major league clubs…” Stengel, offering some hope, adds “…[I] would like to have you play for Stengel.”
In January and February 1926, Weaver, who apparently had sustained an injury, had been writing to several minor league teams trying to find a job as pitcher. There is not much hope. Five other rejection letters sent to Weaver are found here including letters from minor league teams in Cincinnati, Columbus, Milwaukee, and Chattanooga. An additional letter from a fellow player offers meager hope from Buffalo.
So early in his managerial career, a rare letter from the baseball giant Casey Stengel.
Description: [1926 Autograph Letter Signed by Casey Stengel, Baseball Hall of Famer, from his Early Managerial Career; with Five Letters from other Baseball Executives and a Player].
Glendale, California and elsewhere. January 23, 1926–February 25, 1926. [6½] manuscript pages in all. Six Letters comprising 2 ALsS and 4 TLsS. Each letter with mailing envelope. Folds; some losses to envelopes; letters very good.
Note: 1. Flanagan, Baseball Cyclopedia (New York, 1922), p18–19 and Harry Weaver Statistics and History | Baseball-Reference accessed online.