JOE L. BROWN - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 09/03/1964 - HFSID 31689
JOE L. BROWN TLS as General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates (1964), accurately predicting future success for his club Typed Letter Signed: "Joe" as General Manager of the Pirates, 1 page, 8¼x10¾. Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, 1964 September 3. To Charles J. Russhon, New York.
Sale Price $76.50
JOE L. BROWN
TLS as General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates (1964), accurately predicting future success for his club
Typed Letter Signed: "Joe" as General Manager of the Pirates, 1 page, 8¼x10¾. Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, 1964 September 3. To Charles J. Russhon, New York. In full: "Thanks for your nice note. It is always good to hear from you. We have had an up-and-down year, with August being a particularly rough month, but some of our young players are maturing rapidly and there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future. I don't know when my travels will head me toward New York again, but I would enjoy the chance to visit with you. Our daughter, Cindy, may be working in your city soon, perhaps for Columbia Pictures, and that would increase our interest in the trip, of course. With kindest personal regards and all good wishes, I am Cordially". JOE L. BROWN (1918-2010), the son of comic actor Joe E. Brown, played professional baseball, but never rose above a Class D minor league team, the Lubbock Hubbers. His results were considerably better as a baseball executive. After air force duty in World War II, Brown went to work as an executive in the minor league system of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was Branch Rickey's personal choice to become the Pirates' General Manager in 1955. For the next 21 years, he did all the right things to build the Pirates from a perpetual second division club into a World Series contender: first-rate scouting (with intensive efforts in the Carribean), strong player development, shrewd trades, and selection of an excellent field manager, Danny Murtaugh. These efforts resulted in World Championships for the Pirates in 1960 and 1971. He returned briefly as acting general manager in 1985, when the Pirates were beset by drug scandals. Regrettably, as most Pirates fans would acknowledge, the franchise has not maintained the level of excellence attained under Brown. Charles Russhon (1911-1982), the letter's recipient, an army air force colonel in World War II, was the model for his friend Milton Caniff's comic strip character, Steve Canyon. Russhon later worked as a technical adviser in Hollywood, his work including several of the James Bond films. (During the attack on Fort Knox in Goldfinger, a banner can be seen with the message: "Welcome General Russhon.") Fold creases not affecting signature. Lightly toned. Otherwise, fine condition.
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