VSA Winter Auction Ending Wednesday December 30th 2020
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/31/2020
This rare one-of-a-kind letter was typed on National Basketball League letterhead back on July 21st, 1947 and sent to Sid Hartman by commissioner Ward "Piggy" Lambert. The content of this letter reveals that the NBL/NBA was engaged in the exclusion of African American ball players even though they have always denied such action had ever taken place. Nat "Sweetwater" Clifton was considered one of the best basketball players of his era but was being blackballed from the NBL/NBA and Lambert sent this letter to Sid Hartman upon Sid becoming the GM of the Minneapolis Lakers in 1947 to bring it to his attention. Clifton would eventually be drafted by the New York Knicks in 1950 and became the first drafted African-American player to sign a contract with an NBA team. As a 27-year-old back in 1947, Hartman had just become the acting general manager of the Minneapolis Lakers. Hartman helped build what would become the first dynasty in the NBA. This letter is definitely unique both in its content as well as its signature value as Lambert's autograph is an extremely scarce commodity. He passed away back in 1958 before being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame posthumously in 1960. This letter was held by the late Sid Hartman for many years and has now become available for the first time. Historic basketball document to say the least.

(JSA/ James Spence Authentication)
Ward "Piggy" Lambert Signed 1947 Letter on His NBL Stationery to Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Lakers Regarding Segregation
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Number Bids: 9
Auction closed on Thursday, December 31, 2020.
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