A collection of letters written to baseball pioneer Harry Wright in the 19th century have been pulled from an upcoming auction while federal authorities see if there’s any connection to a 1970s library theft.
Letters written to the man who helped carve the earliest foundations of baseball were scheduled to be sold by Hunt Auctions at the All-Star FanFest event July 16.
The company has voluntarily pulled them from the sale, however, after questions were raised about whether they were part of a group of Wright letters stolen from the New York Public Library in the 1980s.
Prior to his death in 1895, Wright willed his archives to professional baseball’s two major leagues. The materials, including scrapbooks which contained the letters, were donated to the library in 1921.
The letters, which could fetch thousands of dollars, were removed from the auction Thursday. However, the company doesn’t believe they’re in any way associated with the library theft.
“It’s a nice, conservative approach for a few days,” Hunt Auctions’ president David Hunt told the New York Times, which reported the development Thursday.