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Historic 1918, 1920 Chicago White Sox Handwritten Payroll/Notes Sheets (3) - From Harry Grabiner's Personal Diary and Bill Veeck's Estate

Lot Number 470

Quantity: Bid Starts: 05/09/2016 12:00:00 
Bid Open: 750.00  Bid Ends: 05/19/2016 23:30:00 
Bid Count: 11  Overtime: 30 Minutes
Currently: 2000.00  Time Left: Ended
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Description



In his 1965 book The Hustler's Handbook, Bill Veeck devotes a chapter to the mystery of White Sox secretary Harry Grabiner's diary, and to how Veeck and his nephew Fred Krehbiel unearthed long-missing entries from the Black Sox era. "I found that while the files were in perfect order up through 1919 and picked up nicely again in 1921, there was nothing but empty air in between," Veeck writes of his preliminary search after purchasing the White Sox in 1959. "Somebody, it was obvious, had very carefully destroyed or removed the files of those crucial two years." Several years later, Veeck continues, "[Fred] conducted his own meticulous search through the dusty dead files—which are kept in a storage room underneath the stands at Comiskey Park. Against the far wall is an old wooden trestle table. For some reason that must have seemed good to him, Fred pulled the table out and there, trapped in a hole in the wall that had been covered over by the leg of the table, he found two old notebooks, one a hard-cover ledger book and the other a long, old-fashioned legal pad. A quick reading of the ledger told him that, by some incredible luck, it was one volume of the journal Harry had told me about. A quick reading of Harry's journal also lets you know, very quickly, why the cupboard had been stripped so bare. For the very first paragraph shows, beyond any doubt, that the White Sox front office had more than some inkling what was going on from the very first game of the 1919 World Series."

 

Offered are 3 actual handwritten pages from Grabiner's secret diary entries. The first sheet contains a series of intriguing player-related notations that appear to directly correlate to the Black Sox scandal. Comiskey's team attorney Alfred Austrian is mentioned several times, including a reference that speaks to the increasing urgency of matters: "Austrian advised to assist in any way possible." Which of course is particularly interesting given Austrian's notorious role in convincing Shoeless Joe to sign a "confession" document that, curiously, disappeared during the later trial before showing up again in Austrian's possession. Among the other fascinating notations on the sheet are the following: "Faber was down to see Landis 2/15, was out but saw nothing"; and "Crusenberry did not know what the news of the leak was and nothing further has been done - the papers have dropped the matter." 

 

The second and third pages offered here provide a full list of "Contracts 1918" and "Contracts 1920", including HOFers Eddie Collins ($15,000), Ray Schalk ($7,000 and $11,000) and Red Faber ($4,000), as well as Joe Jackson ($6,000), Ed Cicotte ($5,000) and the rest of the "eight men out." (Plus Manager Pants Rowland at $7500 and his replacement Kid Gleason at $11,000.) The three pages measure 8x10 or 8-1/2 x 11" and rate EX with bold handwriting.

 

Accompanied by a trio of 2002 signed LOAs from Veeck's wife Mary, who writes, "Harry Grabiner was a close friend of my late husband Bill Veeck. This item, used in the book 'The Hustler's Handbook,' was part of my husband's personal items." Also comes with a signed First Edition copy of The Hustler's Handbook (EX book, VG dj, "8" signature, Auction LOA from JSA).



 
 
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