We are always on the lookout for arcane treasures of Chicago Cubs baseball lore. Imagine my surprise when I came across a treasure trove of personal correspondence between general manage Eldred “Salty” Saltwell and aging owner Phillip K. Wrigley last Saturday in an estate sale in Park Ridge, Illinois.
Saltwell was the Cubs GM in the mid-1970s during one of the more depressing eras in the history of the Chicago National League Ball Club. The following are among the collection I bought for $3.
Dear Mr. Wrigley, Per your mandate Bill Madlock and Andre Thornton will be ex-Cubs before dawn! Found a peanut wholesaler in Albany, Georgia, who will let us have 68 tons at 18.6 cents per pound - or 1.45 million packs of Juicy Fruit should you prefer barter. Thanks for your trust - Eldred! PS - I sent Jerome Holtzman a note threatening legalaction should he continue to allege Rick Reuschel’s weight problem is due to an addiction to your new stroke of genius - Big Red Chewing Gum! Please say hello to Helen and thank her for the thoughtful advice about trading Pete LaCock. My apologies for the off-color joke. Salty - You are an endless source of pride! Who would have thought - a vendor as a general manager! My best notion since the College of Coaches! My wife is called Mrs. Wrigley. Even I refer to heras Mrs. Wrigley. You will call her Mrs. Wrigley, oryou will be busted back down to wiener slinger, third class! PK (but you do not have permission to call me that!)