Offered is a rare signature of Mike Donlin of the 1905 World Champion New York Giants. Known to most as “Turkey Mike” Donlin, he made his initial splash into baseball hitting .340 with the 1901 Orioles but nearly lost it all after a binge-drinking episode got him six months in jail. Donlin (d.1933) returned to baseball and was an integral part of the 1905 Giants. The sharp pencil signature grades (“7-8”) with the faint outline of a signature removed from directly above Donlin’s signature. The cut measures 3 x 3/4” and comes with an auction LOA from James Spence Authentications.
Turkey Mike Donlin (d.1933) was an American outfielder in Major League Baseball who played for the St. Louis Perfectos/Cardinals (1899-1900), Baltimore Orioles (1901), Cincinnati Reds (1902-1904), New York Giants (1904-1908, 1911, 1914), Boston Rustlers (1911), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1912). Donlin was a flamboyant playboy, a sharp dresser and a notorious drinker. With his dashing looks and one who wasn't opposed to finding trouble, he was equally popular with women and men and was one of the most popular players in baseball for a short time at the peak of his career. He was also one of the finest hitters of the dead-ball era but his lifestyle off the field kept him from becoming one of the all-time greats. "Turkey Mike", nicknamed because of his gait while walking, found the new team and league to his liking, hitting .340 which was good for 2nd in the league and appeared to be headed for greatness. But in March of 1902, he was sentenced to six months in prison for his actions during a drinking binge and was promptly released by the Orioles. After serving his time, Donlin was picked up by the Cincinnati Reds and hit .287 for them in the last month of the season. He seemed to have found a home back in his native midwest as he exploded in 1903, finishing 2nd in the league in hitting at .351 and placed in the top 5 in the National League in virtually every offensive category.