It’s spring and baseball is in the air. California baseball fans who can’t get enough of their Giants, Dodgers, A’s, Angels, and Padres might want to go back in time and dip into the history of the Pacific Coast League (PCL), composed of Seals (San Francisco), Oaks (Oakland), Solons (Sacramento), and Tigers (Vernon), among many other teams from San Diego to Hawaii.
The PCL was founded in 1903, and for the next 54 years, it was the dominant baseball presence on the West Coast. For much of that time, the PCL had no contractual affiliation with the rest of professional baseball, and was often referred to as the “Third Major League.” Some of our nation’s greatest players began their careers in the PCL, including Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Tony Lazzeri, “Lefty” Gomez, Ernie Lombardi, and Harry Heilmann. Shortly after the arrival of Major League Baseball to California, the PCL was incorporated into Major League Baseball’s national farm system. The PCL still operates today as a triple-A minor league.
The CHS is home to the extraordinary Dick Dobbins Collection on the Pacific Coast League, which includes programs, scorecards, yearbooks, player sketches, administrative records, baseball cards, photographs, and much more. Never heard of the Mission Reds or the Hollywood Stars? Make the discovery in the Dobbins collection. Visit our library and cover all the bases of West Coast baseball.
See the guide to the DickDobbins Collection on the Pacific Coast League on the Online Archive of California.
Archivist & Special Collections Cataloger