The Joseph Murphy Baseball Autograph Collection
Owning Institution: San Diego Public Library
About this CollectionThe Joseph Murphy Baseball Autograph Collection is a 10-volume private scrapbook collection of baseball-related materials accumulated primarily in the 1930s with some additions thereafter; authentic autographs, correspondence, stat sheets, and biographical clippings. There are over 1,200 items in the collection including autographs of Baseball Hall of Fame members such as Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, and Honus Wagner. Joe Murphy started his Collection in 1931. After that year’s World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Athletics, nine-year-old Joe and his seven-year-old brother, John, sent a congratulatory letter to Pepper Martin on his World Series record of five stolen bases and 12 hits. Much to their amazement, they received a rubber-stamped letter and autograph in return! This letter led to an autograph collecting campaign that lasted through the 1930s. Joe and his brother would simply send 3 x 5 cards and photographs to players along with self-addressed stamped envelopes requesting autographs. Their method resulted in this expansive, multi-volume collection.
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