Willie Keeler served as best man in Bill Dahlen’s second wedding on December 22, 1903. The two were teammates from 1899-1902.
“Bad Bill” Dahlen played from 1891-1911 and retired as baseball’s all-time leader in games played. He also ranked in the top ten in most offensive categories.
In the collection is this autograph of Dahen, not only an exceedingly rare signature to attain but also one of the finest known examples.
Handwritten on Sporting News letterhead is Dahlen’s reply “Who do you consider the greatest ball player of all-time? Why?” The response reads:
“Honus Wagner & Ty Cobb
Honus’s long time service in baseball and his ability to do anything a little better than anyone else gives him the call with me. As to Cobb I never seen him play but few games but his records speak for him.
Williams J. Dahlen”
Dahlen would have great insight into the career of Wagner. He and Honus were contemporaries as their careers overlapped for 15 seasons from 1897-1911 when they were both National Leaguers. Bad Bill relays that he only saw Cobb play a few games. During the 7 seasons they were both active players from 1905-1911 they played in different leagues.
With the scarcity of Dahlen’s signature, it’s difficult to imagine a better more desirable format of the shortstop’s autograph.
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