J.L. James Leslie Wilkinson Signed AUTO Document Baseball HOF Negro Leagues PSA/DNA LOA

About 40 years after his passing, James Wilkinson was enshrined among Cooperstown’s immortals. His posthumous induction was celebrated in 2006, and though he’s best remembered as founder of the Kansas City Monarchs, Wilkinson’s impact on the professional game was manifold.

Known familiarly as “J. L.,” Wilkinson may take deserved bows for organizing the first all-female barnstorming team, and for initiating the first professional ballgame played “under the lights.” Perhaps not for these innovations, the Hall of Fame’s Negro Leagues Committee voted J. L. to enshrinement for his leading role in chartering the Kansas City Monarchs into the Negro National League in 1920. J. L. was Anglo, but his dedication to the mission of his team, and the league, was genuine – untainted by the allure of ulterior gain. For that matter, it’s widely acknowledged that Wilkinson, throughout his 28-year command of the Monarchs, earned and maintained the utmost trust of Rube Foster – founder of the Negro National League.

Able historians of Negro Leagues baseball will remember that the Monarchs won 17 pennants…much on the strength of Wilkinson’s keen eye for talent. Over the course of his ownership, J. L. contracted such figures as Hilton Smith, Cool Papa Bell, Satchel Paige, Bullet Rogan, Bill Foster, Willie Wells, Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks and Turkey Stearnes. However, with the advent of integration in Major League baseball, the whole exciting empire of the Negro Leagues withered, and J. L. sold the Monarchs in 1948. Likewise, his social and financial stature faded to obscurity, and the great visionary passed away penniless in 1964.

One of the tougher Hall of Fame signatures to surface, seldom do any of his scripts become available for the taking, leaving a huge "hole" to fill in advanced HOF autograph collections. Courtesy of Memory Lane, we are proud to now offer one of those excruciatingly tough J. L. Wilkinson autographs, with his exalted script presented on the front page of this 1942 Warranty Deed. To the best of our knowledge, there arguably exists only 15 or less J. L. Wilkinson known signatures on various artifacts, placing this as one of the scarcest HOF autographs extant. Including a full PSA/DNA LOA for ironclad authenticity, "Wilkie's" valued script is situated at the lower left quadrant, the first of many Wilkinson family members (including his wife Bessie and brother George) that were required to sign this deed.

Signed on July 3, 1942, the bold blue ink "J. L. Wilkinson" signature presents itself in solid "9" strength, with him and other family associates agreeing to the $750 mortgage to the DesMoines, Iowa Building-Loan and Savings Organization. For full disclosure, the Warranty/contract includes the typical 3 mailing folds, none of which impede the critical J. L. Wilkinson script, with the PSA/DNA LOA clearly stating that the other Wilkinson signature situated on the reverse side was scripted in the hand of an unknown signer. A truly obscure and highly coveted artifact, it carries the ultra-scarce J. L. Wilkinson signature whose ever-elusive script continues to reside as one of the most challenging autographs to capture for purposes of filling that glaring void in your HOF gathering!



Item: 10956

Price: $17,500.00
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J.L. James Leslie Wilkinson Signed AUTO Document Baseball HOF Negro Leagues PSA/DNA LOA