Six handwritten love letters penned by Boston Red Sox legend Ted Williams, written in the early 1950s to his mistress Norma Williamson, are expected to bring more than $4,000 as part of Heritage Auction’s Nov. 11 Vintage Sports Collectibles event.
“Now when I got your letter I also got one from Doris (Williams) ‘quoting’ a letter that was sent to me from you but got back to Miami someway & she got it,” reads a letter in the trove from Williams to Williamson. “Now isn't that dandy? I really don't care to (sic) much but don't ever put your return address on them...”
So reads just one of the many juicy selections from this collection of a half dozen letters, purchased by the consignor from Williams' former mistress, Norma Williamson, providing an intensely personal and private insight into the game's greatest hitter.
“Collectors know that handwritten letters from Williams are quite scarce regardless of content,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Vintage Sports Collectibles auctions at Heritage, “but few could match this collection for tabloid intrigue.”
Two are small index-sized cards mailed from Boston in 1950 and 1951, both of which betray a bit of insecurity on Williams' part: “I haven't heard from you,” reads the one from 1950. “Have an idea you've met someone whose (sic) making you forget about the kid.” And from 1951: “Say listen this is just a note really to tell you that if I ever find out you even talk to a ballplayer or anyone connected with it I'll just take it you don't want to see me, did ya hear?”
Three of the letters were written while Williams served in the Korean conflict, with the last one, sent in 1953 from Puerto Rico, in which Williams vents his military frustrations: “I'm discusted (sic) with this g*d d**n mess I'm in I never saw anything so fowled (sic) up my slogan for life from now on is the Marine Corp stinks.”
Another reads: “Your picture honey was terrific & I've got it right by my bed to look at, some of my thoughts keep me awake at nite (sic) thinking about you & your precious little body.”
Also included in the same auction is another significant piece of Red Sox history: The birth of the Boston Red Sox team franchise, in the form of Stock certificate No. 1, issued in 1901 by the “Boston American League Base-Ball Club” to famed Massachusetts District Attorney Joseph C. Pelletier, for eight shares. The piece is expected to bring $20,000+.
“This is one of the most significant Boston Red Sox artifacts ever placed on the auction block,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Heritage Sports Collectibles. “It is, literally, the very beginning of one of the most storied and important professional teams to ever exist.”
The Heritage auction is live now and ends Nov. 10-11. Visit www.ha.com for more information.