William H. Terry Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: October 30, 1898 in Atlanta, Georgia
Died: January 9, 1989 in Jacksonville, Florida
Biography | show moreshow less
Full name William Harold Terry
Born October 30, 1898, Atlanta, Georgia
Died January 9, 1989, Jacksonville, Florida
Buried at Evergreen Cemetery, Jacksonville, Florida (Garden Cloister Mausoleum, Project F, Unit 3, Section C)
First Game: September 24, 1923; Final Game: September 22, 1936
Managed First Game: June 4, 1932; Managed Final Game: September 28, 1941
Bat: Left Throw: Left Height: 6' 1" Weight: 200

Selected to the Hall of Fame in 1954
Named NL Most Valuable Player by The Sporting News (1930)
Named first baseman on The Sporting News Major League All-Star Team (1930)

This article was written by Fred Stein and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research
William Harold "Bill" Terry was a superior first baseman in the 1920s and 1930s and one of baseball's premier managers in the 1930s. Born in Atlanta on October 30, 1898, he had an unsettled childhood. His parents suffered through an unhappy marriage, finally separating when he was in his mid-teens. Terry was essentially on his own from that point on, his natural independence enhanced by the need to care for himself at such a young age.

In 1913, when Terry was 15, he looked and acted much older, and he was extremely strong for his age. He obtained a job in the railyard yards in Atlanta, loading heavy flour sacks onto trucks. In his spare time, he played sandlot baseball when he was not rooting for the hometown Crackers, of the Southern Association. Terry could not afford to pay for entrance into the games, so he viewed many games from trees outside the wooden outfield fence.

Terry's played his first recorded game in Atlanta in a Sunday School league. His team performed so poorly that the 13-year-old Terry was inserted into his first game as a left-handed second baseman. Shortly after, the strong-armed youngster was inserted into the lineup as a pitcher. Although his control was poor, he had a live fastball and the Crackers signed him in 1914. But, perhaps because of his youth, he did not pitch in a game even though some baseball men had become aware of his potential. Terry had heard that St. Louis Browns Manager Branch Rickey had some interest in him and that Rickey might offer him a contract. But Rickey decided against it.

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