"I'LL BE THINKING ABOUT YOU": WONDERFUL AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED BY MARILYN MONROE TO BASEBALL LEGEND "LEFTY" O'DOUL, LONGTIME MENTOR TO JOE DIMAGGIO, WHOSE TEMPESTUOUS 1954 MARRIAGE TO MONROE LASTED BARELY NINE MONTHS
(DIMAGGIO, Joe) MONROE, Marilyn. Autograph letter signed. WITH: Autograph Envelope. No place: circa 1954. Two items. Original single sheet of letterhead (6 by 8-1/4 inches) in manuscript hand in blue ink on the recto. Original autograph envelope (4-1/4 by 6-1/4 inches) in manuscript hand on the recto. $12,500.
Original autograph letter signed by Marilyn Monroe, a lovely, warm letter entirely in her hand on her personal letterhead, writing to James "Lefty" O'Doul, the legendary baseball manager, coach and longtime trusted mentor to Joe DiMaggio, who married Monroe in January 1954, shortly before the couple traveled to Japan for their honeymoon on a pre-planned trip coordinated with O'Doul. This letter is undated but possibly is from that time, with accompanying envelope in her hand addressed to O'Doul using her pet name for him, "Jimmy Gold O'Doul."
Monroe's letter, on a sheet of her personal letterhead emblazoned with a large "M," is written entirely in her hand and signed by her on the recto. The text reads, with punctuation and errors unchanged: "Dear Jimmy, I was happy you met us at the airport and I got to see you again—your [sic] one of my favorite people you know. Thank you for inviting me to your birthday party. I would like to come but the Doctor said I must stay in bed—so I'm sorry Jimmy that I can't be there but I'll be thinking about you. Have a Happy Birthday and a wonderful time Marilyn." The accompanying envelope is addressed by Monroe using her pet name for him, "Mr. Jimmy Gold O'doul" [sic] with "Personal" underlined on the lower left corner.
Baseball legend James "Lefty" O'Doul, "was a guru to some of the biggest names in the history of the game," including DiMaggio. O'Doul, who once coached DiMaggio, became his trusted mentor and was a close friend to Monroe. O'Doul, "an honored guest at the wedding of DiMaggio and Monroe… was immensely popular across the country, but nowhere more so than in his native San Francisco, where he both starred for and managed the Pacific Coast League's Seals" (MLB). O'Doul is also famed as the "father of modern Japanese baseball," due to his role in popularizing the sport there, and was the first American elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.
Monroe and DiMaggio, who met in 1952 and married in San Francisco on January 14, 1954, decided to use a pre-planned February trip to Japan as their honeymoon. During the trip, coordinated with O'Doul on hand to promote baseball in Japan, Monroe and O'Doul's wife Jean briefly traveled to South Korea where Monroe visited the troops while DiMaggio and O'Doul continued across Japan. When Monroe returned to Japan, she came down with the flu and stayed in their suite at the Imperial Hotel until their return to the U.S. at the end of February. This letter, undated, might date from period, given O'Doul's birthday was March 4, and Monroe might still have been ill at that time. From the estate of famed bibliophile and collector, Dr. Goodman Basil Espy III,
Letter with faint foldline, scant soiling at edges; envelope letter-opened at top. A splendid letter and accompanying envelope.