When we recently showed around this exciting discovery, letter collectors and autograph authenticators alike were blown away by the sight. Such a missive, handwritten by the elusive Hall of Famer Amos Rusie (1871-1942), was thought not to exist. Yet here it is in all its glory—and, what's more, the baseball-related content is beyond belief, as Rusie hearkens back to no less than fellow 19th-century luminaries Cap Anson and Billy Sunday.
Just Rusie's rare autograph alone commands large sums, with a cut signature selling for $9,500 in 2012, and a signed ball reaching $45,000 in 2002. This one-of-a-kind Rusie relic now presented could go even higher than that previous record price. It is dated 1/12/36, measures 5x8 and rates EX with mailing folds. Penned from Rusie's Seattle farm to a fan in nearby Auburn, WA, the handwritten script averages "7" overall, reading, "Enclosed find my Autograph brought back old memorys of Capt. Anson & Billy Sunday I think the last job of manageing a ball club Anson did was with N. York Giants where I was playing he was a great Ball player in his day and a fine fellow. I pitched against Billy Sunday the last year he played ball before he started to preaching it was in Pitt Pittburg I think in 1899. Resp yours, Amos Rusie."
It bears remembering that Rusie's legacy as the greatest fireballer of his day resulted in an impressive 10th place finish in the 1936 Hall of Fame Veterans Committee balloting, behind only Cy Young and Old Hoss Radbourn among hurlers. According to his New York Times obituary, the "Hoosier Thunderbolt" retired to Seattle where he became a steamfitter, then returned to the Giants franchise as a Polo Grounds officer in the 1920s, before settling down back in Seattle for good. He sustained serious injuries in a 1934 car accident, and little is known of his final years. Full LOA from JSA. This item has a reserve (estimated value $30,000-$40,000).