Home / Sports / Collector discovers 103-year-old letter about stolen Hamilton Tigers football jerseys

Collector discovers 103-year-old letter about stolen Hamilton Tigers football jerseys

Ed Agopian knew the letter used to be particular the second one his fingertips brushed the brittle parchment paper it used to be published on.

But it used to be the hole two strains that made him snigger.

“I think you had one of the Tiger sweaters with you when you left for Belleville,” the letter reads. 

“Although we had eighteen at the commencement of the season several of them have been stolen and we are short for our team.”

The moderately worded words left for sure within the longtime collector’s thoughts — this letter about it sounds as if pilfered football jerseys used to be written through a criminal thoughts.

“It’s hilarious,” stated the landlord of Hamilton’s Imperial Coin and Stamp Co. “As soon as I read the first statement, I knew it was a lawyer’s letter.”

Five strains of football historical past

The transient notice from LeRoy E. Awrey to a person named Claude Langman, Esq. dated Jan 21, 1915, used to be found out in a bin of about 50,000 envelopes that belonged to a stamp collector who had handed away.

This is a buried treasure. I did not be expecting it.– Ed Agopian , proprietor of Imperial Coin and Stamp Co.

Agopian stated boxes filled with letters from native companies between the early 1910s and 1950s had been bought to him through the collector’s circle of relatives closing 12 months.

But it used to be most effective by accident that this piece of Hamilton football historical past did not finally end up within the rubbish bin.

The retailer proprietor stated he used to be sorting in the course of the reams of outdated desk bound and about to toss it when his arms touched the unique texture of parchment paper that used to be utilized by legal professionals and companies of the generation.

He made up our minds to take a snappy glance at the five-line letter. He’s happy he did.

Collector discovers 103-year-old letter about stolen Hamilton Tigers football jerseys

The letter is written in lawyerly language and with politeness asks if the stolen jersey may please be returned. (Dan Taekema/CBC)

Agopian stated the smeared ink signature seems original, as does the deal with and letterhead. Not to say that the typeface turns out to check the time frame.

“I knew it was the real McCoy,” he stated. “This is a buried treasure. I didn’t expect it.”

A ‘lovely excellent to find’

Angelo Savelli, certainly one of Canada’s essential creditors and a chum of Agopian, stated he admires the invention.

While he prefers to gather game-worn items and trophies or even has a couple of bits of Tigers memorabilia himself, the theory of any individual looking for stolen jerseys used to be a brand new one.

“It’s a pretty good find,” he stated. “I never heard of the football team losing their sweaters.”

The Hamilton Tigers are one of the most foundations of town’s lengthy football historical past and predate even its iconic Oskee Wee Wee chant.

Not to be at a loss for words with the pro hockey squad of the similar identify that performed from 1920-1925, the staff’s roots stretch again to 1869. That’s when the Hamilton Football Club, differently referred to as the Tigers, performed within the Ontario Rugby Football Union dressed in the similar colors, black and gold, that the staff nonetheless dons to this present day.

Collector discovers 103-year-old letter about stolen Hamilton Tigers football jerseys

Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ John White IV rushes for a landing towards the B.C. Lions on Saturday night time. The staff nonetheless wears the similar colors, black and gold, as the unique Hamilton Tigers. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Back in 1915, the 12 months of the letter, they even received the Grey Cup, making the ones stolen jerseys much more fascinating.

“These sweaters are specially made and we cannot replace them and I would esteem it a great favour, if you have one of these sweaters, if you could send it along to me,” Awrey writes.

It wasn’t till 1950 that the staff merged with their place of origin pageant, the Wildcats, to shape the Hamilton Tiger-Cats native enthusiasts nonetheless cheer for.

Sad finishing for writer

As for Awrey, in contrast to the staff, his legacy turns out to had been lower brief.

Mark DeNobile, govt director on the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum ran a seek of the names for each males at the letter. 

All that grew to become up within the recordsdata used to be an entry in the Canadian Great War Project for a Lt. LeRoy Awrey, a “Barrister and Solicitor” from Hamilton who enlisted in 1st Machine Gun Company in April 1916 and served in Europe ahead of he used to be killed in motion on August 30, 1918. Awrey used to be 29 when he died.

Collector discovers 103-year-old letter about stolen Hamilton Tigers football jerseys

An obituary for Lt. LeRoy Awrey describes him as “popular” and “very favourably known” all through Hamilton. (Ed Agopian)

A newspaper obituary from the similar duration that Agopian discovered within the Hamilton Public Library archives describes the ill-fated soldier as “one of Hamilton’s most promising young men” and the “eldest twin son of ex-Ald George and Mrs. Awrey.”

The article says he used to be killed in a price at the Hindenberg Line.

Questions linger after letter

Agopian stated he is an enormous Tiger-Cats supporter and has plans to border his to find, even if he’s keen to entertain gives from someone .

But regardless of what he is discovered about Awrey, the letter has left the collector with extra questions than solutions.

“What happened to the jerseys after the letter? And who was stealing all the jerseys?”

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