Eddie Farrell was a ballplayer. He signed with the New York Giants in 1925 as an infielder. Two years later he received MVP votes following a breakout season in which he batted .316 and drove in 92 runs.
Eddie Farrell was a World Series champion. Eighty years ago the New York Yankees won it all. We call Gehrig and Ruth legends. He called them teammates.
Eddie Farrell was a dentist. With a degree from Penn in hand, “Doc”—as he was called throughout his playing days—hung up his cleats in 1935 to pursue a more lucrative career.
Eddie Farrell was my great-grandfather. He died in 1966, fifteen years before I was born. I know him only through the stories I hear at my grandmother’s house, and through the crumbs of information I pick up from the yellowed newspaper articles, faded photographs and dusty memorabilia I collect.
I don’t often pay for autographs because a signature alone means little to me. The memories of my in-person adventures are the most valuable items in my collection. Without them, it’s just ink and paper. The sentiment is lost in transaction.
There is always an exception.
By far, eBay has been the most effective tool in building my Eddie Farrell collection and I monitor the marketplace frequently. Every day you can find copies of his 1933 Goudey baseball card. I have dozens. Every day you can find copies of team photos in which he appeared. I have them all. But it’s rare that I’ll find something truly unique. Something that gives me any kind of insight into Grandpa Eddie. But then one day, there was a letter.
Handwritten in blue on paper toned with decades of age, it read:
2228 So. 10th St
Sorry not to have returned your cards sooner.
Have been out of town the past ten days due to sickness in the family.
Vic Aldridge and I write to one another once a year. (Xmas)
I hope you will be able to get the autographs of the old timers.
My great-grandfather’s personal reply to a TTM autograph request. In a second eBay listing there was a signed index card, one of the “cards” referenced in the note. I was the winning bidder on both lots. There was no other outcome possible.
It is the only Eddie Farrell autograph I have. It means more to me than anything else in my collection. And I purchased it on eBay.
Which autograph in your collection means the most to you and how did you obtain it?