An Interesting Fan Letter

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Many collectors do TTM (Through The Mail) autograph requests to athletes in hopes that their mailbox gets filled with signatures.  This is a practice that has been going on for years, and is one of the oldest ways to obtain autographs of your favorite players.  This afternoon I found an interesting relic up for sale on eBay.  It is a letter written by a fan of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson asking for his autograph.  This isn’t the first time a letter like this has popped-up for sale, but this one caught my eye because of the postmark on the envelope.  After asking the seller what the postmark said, I found out it was from 1953.  I find this strange because Joe Jackson died in 1951.  Since Jackson was uneducated, his wife would sign a lot of things for him, but I still think its odd for people to ask for his signature after his death.  If the person writing the letter was such a fan, don’t you think they would have known he was dead?  

On a side note, if a major card manufacturer were to produce a cut signature of “Shoeless”, I have the feeling we would experience the same drama that was brought to the hobby a few years ago when Topps produced those “game model” bat cards of Josh Gibson.  A lot of people would be doubting that it really was Jackson’s signature, but instead his wife’s.

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