The life and times of a baseball lifer unfold with this 1880s-1940s John Heydler (d.1956) personal collection of photos and ephemera. Sourced from the Heydler Family archive, this fascinating selection is populated with letters, clippings, photographs, golf scorecards and metal printing plates that were used to produce business and greeting cards for Heydler. Starting with boxscore newspaper clippings listing Heydler as an amateur baseball player, to hitting the links during his 1918-1934 term as National League President, this historically significant collection provides a personal look at a man who is highly regarded for his contributions to the game. Auction LOA from JSA for signed items. Consignor's LOA reads, in part, "In the mid 1980s I was approached by a John Heydler relative to purchase a collection of his personal papers, photos and miscellaneous keepsakes. I purchased the collection realizing the significant and enormous role Heydler played in the early days of baseball."
(14) Assorted metal printing plates ranging in size up to 6-1/2 x 5-1/4", all are in better condition. Included are business card types with Heydler's name only in facsimile signature style or block prints lettering. Others are either calling cards for Heydler and his wife, holiday greeting types or address blocks. Half of these plates are housed in manila paper wrappings or envelopes and several have examples of Heydler's signature (average "8-9" with deference to one example with a small bit of surface loss), which he likely provided for replication on the printing plates. Before Heydler became associated with professional baseball, he worked at the U.S. Government Printing Office, so these plates were obviously important to him and remained with his family until after his demise.
(1) Business card (EX-MT+) with Heydler's name printed in block letters at center and "National Base Ball League Chairman Board of Directors" printed at lower left. Printed at lower right is the address "30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York".
(1) Letter of recommendation (EX+) for employment on "Ott. Mergenthaler & Co. Mechanical Engineers and Machinists" letterhead, dated 7/29/1893. This letter is written and signed by Ottmar Mergenthaler ("9", d.1899). This letter states in part that Heydler had three months experience studying Megenthaler's "Linotype" and that he "can give satisfactory service in any office where our machines are used". This letter is accompanied by an envelope also dated 7/29/1893" and the notation "Recommending J.A. Heydler".
(18) Photographs range (75% EX to NM, 25% GD to VG-EX) with: (1) 8x10 signed and personalized to Heydler by Alan J. Gould ("9", d.1993) with "To John Arnold Heydler 'Mr. Baseball Himself' with admiration and affection, Alan J. Gould 3/19/44"; (5) 8x10 Heydler portraits all with "K. Kruger, 1269 Broadway, New York" credit stamps on the back; one of these also has a typed notation on the back that reads "February 15, 1929, Latest photo, please file and destroy all previous. John A. Heydler, President, National League."; (5) 8x10 photos of Heydler in the stands at a game, printed on thin stock with one having pinholes; (1) 5x7 photo of Heydler with three policemen, that is accompanied by a partial photo cover with a label that reads "May 4, 1937 Photo at Schofield Barracks, Honolulu, Hawaii"; (1) 5x7 of Heydler and Julian Curtiss on a golf course with the written notation "Julian Curtiss, John Heydler, Pinehurst" at bottom; Curtiss was president of Spalding sporting goods and a major force in popularizing golf in America; (5) assorted photos in sizes of 3x5 to 4x6, including Heydler on a golf course, a baseball field, in vacation settings and a portrait.
(6) Golf scorecards range (GD to EX) with five filled out in Heydler's hand and (1) unused. These are accompanied by a manila envelope marked "John & Nancy Heydler 1923 California Trip via RR." Golf Cards, Base Ball Score Cards (not included), Photos, etc.
(1) Los Angeles Country Club "Visitors Card" (NM) dated 3/5/1923 and made out to Heydler for a period of two weeks, comes with original envelope (EX-MT).
(2) 8x18 Printed pages titled "Cavalcade of Majors" (both VG) listing historic dates and rule changes for a variety of professional baseball leagues. The first page has the written date "3-25/1943" at top.
(1) 6x8 Manila envelope (EX+) printed with the return address "The National League P.B.B.C. 8 West 40th Street New York". Also noted is the written notation "B.B. Scrapbook".
Also present is an assortment of newspaper clippings and correspondence ranging (VG to EX) including (3) pages dated 1889-1891, with boxscore clippings listing Heydler during his days as an amateur baseball player.