In 1971 the “Cooperstown 16” met just after induction to talk baseball and form a new entity. After a debate about what to name the new organization, the men decided on the Society for American Baseball Research or SABR.
Keith Sutton was one of the founding members of SABR, a writer, historian, and fan of the game. In the letter shown above, Sutton writes to former Giants first baseman Bill Terry to congratulate Terry on his recent election to the Hall of Fame. The correspondence, dated January 29, 1954 was after the election but before Terry’s induction.
Sutton writes in part, “I saw you play many time in the Polo Grounds in the 1930s, and have always felt that your record merited inclusion into the Hall of Fame years ago.”
Sutton then makes the request for Terry’s autograph. Terry complied with the request at the bottom of the letter writing, “Mr. Sutton, Thanks for your nice letter. Bill Terry”.