From an era during which modest salaries forced many Major League players to “retire” to minor league teams, this typewritten letter was composed and signed by legendary and unyielding Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. The 8-1/2 x 11” sheet of “BASEBALL” letterhead with Landis’ name, title and downtown Chicago business address is dated “December 17, 1930” and addressed to Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Marquard, who had pitched for the Southern Association’s Jacksonville Tars that year – five seasons after throwing his last pitch in the big leagues. The letter reads (in full):
“Dear Mr. Marquard:
Answering your letter of December 15, I could not express any opinion in the matter of your possible claim against the Jacksonville Club. This for the reason that you should present the claim to your league president and to Secretary Farrell of the National Association. The Commissioner has no jurisdiction in the matter except on appeal from the National Association’s decision. Written notice of such appeal must be given Secretary Farrell and the Jacksonville Club within thirty days from date of the National Association’s decision.
Of course, it may be that the $1,000 payment will be made on January 1st; but, if not, the proper procedure is for you to present your claim to your league president and to Mr. Farrell.
Very truly yours,
(signed) Kenesaw Landis
Landis (d.1944) has signed in black-ink steel tip fountain pen (“9” strength). Accompanying is a full photo LOA from JSA.