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I encountered this line in the article on the の particle on imabi.net:

の can also follow other case particles--never が nor に. It can also be after some adverbs. When this happens, it is best to treat the adverb as a nominal phrase.

  1. 神への道 Road to God/the gods

  2. 母からの手紙 A letter from my mother

  3. しばらくの間 For a while

First, does this mean that をの is valid? I don't think I've ever seen it. But I'd imagine that 私をのボール would mean "the ball that hit me" (or maybe some other verb, depending on context).

Why can only some particles precede the の particle? I can see how がの would be difficult to interpret, but 私にの手紙 (letter to me) seems like a perfectly reasonable construction. Is there any justification/pattern for which particles can precede の?

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    i believe this の is actually the copula だ used in a relative clause construction. 友達からの手紙 then could be translated as “a letter which IS from a friend” – A.Ellett Jul 12 at 3:55
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First, does this mean that をの is valid?

No, をの is always invalid. You can say 私へのボール ("the ball (passed) to me", "the ball for me", etc) or 私からのボール ("the ball (passed) from me") instead.

Why can only some particles precede the の particle?

I don't know, but only a few combinations are possible (への, との, からの, までの, での), so I think it may be better to just remember them. (We can also say もの, ばかりの and などの, but these are probably not case particles.)

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