William Harridge faithfully served as American League President for nearly three decades. The longest-tenured league chief in the game’s history, Harridge was in office for 29 years . When he retired, congratulatory letters poured in from all over the baseball world.
In the collection is this letter from Harridge dated January 6, 1959. He writes to Hall of Fame pitcher Ted Lyons, thanking the 21-year AL veteran for his well wishes.
He writes, “I have enjoyed my long association with baseball and many of the nice friends I have made among the players, which, of course, includes Teddy Lyons. In your playing days you always gave a good account of yourself on the ball field, and since your retirement since active duty you have carried on for the good of our National Game.”
Lyons represented the American League well. His 260 wins rank 10th in AL history while his 356 complete games in the Junior Circuit place him third behind only the Senators Walter Johnson, and 326-game winner Gettysburg Eddie Plank.
Though Harridge signed many documents in his position of leadership, letters such as this are uncommon. A correspondence from one Hall of Fame member to another is highly desirable.