Here is an interesting letter I recently discovered when rummaging through eBay. It features a letter, dated December 20, 1945, from Dodgers President Branch Rickey to a prospective ballplayer named Richard T. Foley.
The letter is both poignant and reflective; while at the same time self serving - considering Rickey was interested in retaining Foley for the Dodgers. Nevertheless, I found Rickey's words to be inspiring and heartfelt. The "war to end all wars" had just concluded months before, so the time for reflection was no doubt high in most people's minds. He states in the letter:
Surely this Christmas means more to most of us than any Christmas we have ever known. The war is over and "Peace on Earth, Good will to Men", again becomes something to think about, and to hope for, and to work for, too.I don't think I could have said it any better.
Unfortunately, I was unable to nail down specific information about this player, but did find two separate references: one of a Trenton fellow who was in the Red Sox organization and served in both WWII and the Korean War (here) and another at Baseball Reference without much information at all (here). Considering the address referenced in the letter it appears the latter link is the right Foley. If you happen to have any information about this player please pass it along. In the meantime, I've reproduced the entire letter below.
Surely this Christmas means more to most of us than any Christmas we have ever known. The war is over and "Peace on Earth, Good will to Men", again becomes something to think about, and to hope for, and to work for, too.
For many who went from the Brooklyn organization into our country's service, Christmas, 1945 means homecoming, a return to families and friends. For others, still in the service, it holds promise of happier days to come and very soon.
To all of you -- those who have served, and those still serving, -once again on behalf of the entire Brooklyn organization I send my most sincere good wishes.
I am sending a token of our continuing interest and regard, - two tokens, I believe. One is a copy of Frank Graham's book, "The Brooklyn Dodgers". The other is a lighter. If you don't smoke, give it to your dad, or some other member of your family, or a friend who does.
Anyhow, a Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New Year, and I hope to see you in a baseball uniform this spring.
Branch Rickey, President
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