One of the ringleaders of the 1890s pennant-winning Baltimore Orioles teams, Hall of Famer John McGraw was no stranger to underhanded tactics in his team’s “win at all costs” endeavors. Known to trip, block, spike and impede opposing baserunners, McGraw (d.1934) was a natural spokesperson for the dangers inherent to the double play: which he explained in this handwritten and signed correspondence. Dated “May 11th 32” on a 10-1/2 x 7” sheet of Chicago’s Drake Hotel stationery, the letter is penned entirely in McGraw’s hand and conveys his thoughts on proper maneuvers when turning a double play. At the conclusion, McGraw’s blue-ink fountain pen signature projects amazing strength and clarity and has been Graded 10 by PSA/DNA. Full photo LOAs from PSA/DNA and JSA. This item has a reserve (estimated value $5000-$7500).
The letter reads (in full):
”I would say the best way to make a double play would be to pivot from the inside of the bag, that will get you away from the spikes, and interference of the runner. Hoping this will answer question, and wishing you good luck.
I am, yours truly
(signed) John J. McGraw”