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1928-1950 Major League Baseball Scorecard Collection (75) from the Keith Sutton Collection - Founding Member of SABR

  • Sold For: $3,259
  • Year: 1928
  • Auction: 2012 spring
  • Lot #: 1047
  • Auction Category: Post-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

This exceptional and fascinating collection of seventy-five regular-season major league baseball scorecards, 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). While the collection includes many early and desirable examples, including two Yankees scorecards from 1928, what truly sets this collection apart is all of the extra items that accompany. Sutton appeared to save everything, and included here are numerous issues of Giants Jotting s, the official New York Giants newsletter, six small snapshot photos taken at the Polo Grounds, team schedule cards from various years, correspondence from the New York Giants (highlighted by a gorgeous 1935 typed-signed letter to Sutton, on official team letterhead, signed by Horace Stoneham), and many of the original envelopes sent to Sutton. Also included is a rare, specially produced scorecard for each of the Giants' final two "Farewell" games of the 1934 season on September 29 and 30th against the Dodgers. The fold-over scorecard pictures Bill Terry on the cover, while the reverse is lettered "A trying team must be given credit - Fare-well and good luck to our baseball fans - Win or lose be a sport."

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 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 New s. Later, Sutton began contributing shorts news articles to The Sporting New s 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. After Sutton's death, these scorecards were handed down to a close family friend (our consignor), in whose possession they have remained until this time. When our consignor received these scorecards, 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 scorecards 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 scorecard for such a long period of time it has resulted in nearly all of the scorecards now having an unnatural "bow" to their shape (they 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 regard those minor flaws, the scorecards range in grade from Fair to Excellent, averaging Good to Very Good. All of the scorecards 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.). As could be expected, the majority of scorecards offered here are from Giants games, but the Yankees, Dodgers, A's, and Phillies are also represented, as are a few other clubs. In our listing, we have organized the programs by team, then year, and finally opponent and date. New York Giants (43): 1929 (Pirates 7/21); 1930 (Dodgers 8/30, and two for the 8/31 doubleheader), 1931 (Dodgers, two for the 5/30 doubleheader, and Phillies 5/31); 1932 (St. Louis, two programs for the same game on 7/2, which was an eighteen-inning affair won by the Giants 1-0); 1934 (Pirates 7/11, Cubs 9/6 and 9/7); 1935 (Dodgers, two for the 5/30 doubleheader, Braves, two for the 8/4 doubleheader, and Phillies 9/1); 1936 (Dodgers 4/14, Cubs, two for the 6/28 doubleheader, Pirates 8/2, and Braves 9/6); 1937 (Cardinals 5/7, Pirates 6/6, and Phillies, two for the 9/6 doubleheader); 1938 (Pirates 6/14 and Dodgers 8/16); 1942 (Dodgers 4/15 and 5/16, and Braves, two for the 7/4 doubleheader); 1943 (Cardinals, two for the 5/23 doubleheader); 1948 (Reds 6/27, Cubs, two for the 9/22 doubleheader, and Dodgers 9/23); and 1950 (Cardinals, two for the 7/30 doubleheader). Brooklyn Dodgers (4): 1932 (Pirates 9/8); 1935 (Giants, two for the 9/25 doubleheader); and 1943 (Giants 4/22). New York Yankees (19): 1928 (A's, two for the 9/8 doubleheader); 1930 (Indians 6/29, and A's, two for the 9/1 doubleheader); 1931 (A's 8/9); 1932 (A's 9/5); 1934 (Tigers, two for the 8/14 doubleheader); 1935 (Senators 9/26); 1936 (Red Sox, two for the 8/23 doubleheader and A's, two for the 9/7 doubleheader); 1937 (Indians 5/23); 1942 (Red Sox 4/17 and A's 7/5); 1948 (Browns 7/17); and 1950 (Red Sox 9/24). Philadelphia Phillies (2): 1948 (Cardinals, two for the 8/8 doubleheader). Pittsburgh Pirates (3): 1931 (Giants 9/10 and 9/11) and 1947 (Dodgers 9/18). Washington Senators: (Yankees 9/6). Chicago White Sox: 1933 (Indians 7/25). Boston Braves (2): 1934 (Dodgers, two for the 9/3 doubleheader). Total: 75 scorecards, plus many other accompanying items. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $3,259

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