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Lot # 1052 (of 1641)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1928-1950 World Series Program Collection (32) from the Keith Sutton Collection - Founding Member of SABR

Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $5,629

This collection of thirty-two World Series programs, spanning the years 1928-1950, has a very special provenance: all originate from the personal collection of Keith Sutton, who was one of the sixteen founding members of SABR (Society for American Baseball Research). Sutton, who was a Giants fan, lived most of his life in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, and so was able to regularly attend games in both New York and Philadelphia. According to his biography on the SABR website (, Sutton was always interested in baseball history, but did not begin his baseball research in earnest until about 1950-1951. It was then that he began assisting baseball historian/statistician Leonard Gettelson, who was a contributor to The Sporting News. Later, Sutton began contributing shorts news articles to The Sporting News himself, and also spent a great deal of time at the Baseball Hall of Fame Library. In 1971, Sutton was one of the fifteen researchers who joined Robert Davids at the Hall of Fame to form SABR. What makes this collection so special is that it relates to the genesis of Sutton's career as a baseball researcher. The SABR biography of Sutton begins: "Keith Sutton saw his first World Series game on Oct. 4, 1928. It impressed him so much he went back the next day. The Yankees defeated the Cardinals in both New York World Series games and Keith got to see such names as Alexander, Maranville, Frisch, Bottomley, Ruth, Gehrig, Durocher, and a future SABR member named Waite Hoyt." Amazingly, this collection includes both of Sutton's programs from the 1928 World Series, each scored in his hand! Further distinguishing this collection are all of the many extras that it includes, most notably a number of exceedingly rare unofficial scorecards issued for various World Series games (usually produced as promotional pieces for local companies). One of the most desirable is that from the 1926 World Series that was issued as a Presidential campaign piece for Al Smith. Smith's portrait image is featured on each side alongside the printed slogan "For President/Al Smith/ The Man of Destiny." Other unofficial World Series scorecards included here are for the years 1929, 1933, 1936 (two different examples), and 1947. Also accompanying the programs are various correspondence between Sutton and different clubs inquiring about the availability of World Series tickets, many with the original envelopes addressed to Sutton.

After Sutton's death, these World Series programs were handed down to a close family friend (our consignor), in whose possession they have remained until this time. When our consignor received these programs, each was literally stuffed with numerous (sometimes literally hundreds) of period newspaper clippings that Sutton was obviously saving for research purposes. We have removed the clippings from the programs in order to accurately describe them and assess condition, but all have been saved and will accompany the collection. Unfortunately, because the clippings were stored in each program for such a long period of time it has resulted in nearly all of the them now having an unnatural "bow" to their shape (most do not lie flat when closed). Also, the stretching caused by the clippings has also often resulted in the detachment of a few interior pages from the stapled spine. Taking into account those minor flaws, the programs range in grade from Fair to Excellent, averaging Good to Very Good. All of the programs have been neatly scored in pencil by Sutton, who has also written all of the game particulars on the front cover (date, teams, score, etc.). In our listing, we have organized the programs by year, then team, number of programs (if more than one), and game number(s) for which they are scored. 1928: (Yankees, two programs, Games 1-2); 1929 (A's, Game 3); 1930 (A's, Game 6); 1933 (Giants, two programs, Games 1-2); 1936 (Yankees/Giants [same program for each venue], six programs, Games 1-6); 1937 (Yankees/Giants [same program for each venue], three programs, Games 2-4); 1942 (Yankees, three programs, Games 3-5); 1947 (Yankees, three programs, Games 1,2, and 6; Dodgers, three programs, Games 3-5); 1949 (Yankees, two programs, Games 1-2; Dodgers, two programs, Games 4-5); 1950 (Phillies, two programs, Games 1-2; Yankees, two programs, Games 3-4). Also included is a 1949 All-Star Game program from Ebbets Field. Total: 32 World Series programs, plus 1949 All-Star Game program, and various additional related pieces. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $5,629

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