Guide to the Frank McCormack Collection MC 79

James C. Scott, Kristy Molnar and Josefina De la Torre
Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento Room
Copyright 2019
Sacramento Public Library. All Rights Reserved
828 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 264-2795

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento Room
Title: Frank McCormack Collection
Identifier/Call Number: MC 79
Physical Description: 9 Linear Feet 19 Archival Boxes 1 16 GB flashdrive
Date (inclusive): 1978-2002
Abstract: A robust collection of scrapbooks, programs, correspondence, certificates of appreciation, published materials, photographs, government documents and ephemera that relate to McCormack's early ownership of the Sacramento Kings, the drive to construct a stadium, and initiatives to bring professional sports to Sacramento during the 1970s and 80s. The collection also contains documentation and artifacts that speak to McCormack's hand in establishing Northern California's Eagle Lake Children's Camp in the early 1990s.

Biographical / Historical

Frank McCormack was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on September 20, 1945. Soon after, his father, James, and mother, Loretta, moved their family to Sacramento, California. Raised as the youngest of eight children, six boys, two girls, McCormack attended Sacred Heart School and after his 8th grade graduation went to St. Pius X Seminary in Rio Dell, California for his first year of high school. He then went on to graduate from Bishop Armstrong High School. In this late teens he went back to Sacred Heart to coach football, basketball, track and boxing for two years. At the age of 24 he transferred to All Hallows School where he taught academic classes to grades 5 through 8 while also working as Vice-Principal for four of his five years. Realizing the need for an advanced degree, he attended California State University, Sacramento, graduating in 1975 with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and then, a year later, with a master's degree in Sociology. By this time he had also married his wife, Diane, a relationship that produced two children, Angel and James.
In 1978, McCormack formed a business partnership with developer and longtime friend Gregg Lukenbill. The resulting Sacramento Sports Association was established with the goal of building a stadium and bringing professional sports to Sacramento. McCormack and Lukenbill, along with developers Frank Lukenbill, Joseph Benvenuti, Robert A. Cook and Stephen A. Cippa, were able to purchase the Kansas City Kings in 1983 and relocate the team to Sacramento in 1985. A following effort to bring major league baseball to Sacramento was accented with the August 1987 "March on Baseball" initiative that saw McCormack, Lukenbill and Greg Van Dusen transport nearly 21,000 Sacramentans on 285 buses from Sacramento to the Oakland Coliseum. Documentation of McCormack's tenure with the Sacramento Sports Association can be found in Never Lose: A Decade of Sports and Politics in Sacramento, which he published in 1989 through First Ink Publishing. In the early 1990s, McCormack pivoted to the establishment of Eagle Lake Children's Camp whose aim it was to provide an outdoor experience for disabled children. Located north of Susanville in the Lassen National Forest, it merged with Ronald McDonald House Charities in 1997.
As of the summer of 2019, Frank and Diane are retired and living in Sacramento.

Scope and Contents

Series I is comprised of scrapbooks that largely contain articles from the Sacramento Bee and Sacramento Union on the Kings' move from Kansas City to Sacramento and the team's early years in the Capital City. The scrapbooks also hold a number of images, ephemera and correspondence that have been kept in the creator's original order. Years covered in the scrapbooks are divided into subseries, starting with 1978 and ending in 1989. Series II holds McCormack's loose correspondence, including a 1989 letter written to legendary Los Angeles and Oakland Raiders owner, Al Davis. Also included are letters relating to McCormack's writing projects as well as those that reveal the business dealings of the Sacramento Sports Association. Business and government documents can be found in Series III. Documents which relate to 1979's Measure A, which would have provided for the rezoning of some 435 acres of agricultural lands in the Natomas area of Sacramento to a status that would have allowed the construction of the 37,000-seat, privately-funded sports stadium, are included. Forms required by both the Sacramento City Clerk's Office and the California State Fair Political Practices Commission occupy a lion's share of the series. Series IV is made up of published materials, including a copy of Never Lose, numerous game programs (including that for the King's very first game at Arco Arena on October 25, 1985), Kansas City Kings and Sacramento Kings media guides, and an August 1987 issue of Sacramento Scoreboard with a feature story relating to the "March on Baseball." Series V holds artifacts and loose ephemera and is comprised of Kings hats (both from Kansas City and Sacramento) and t-shirts, numerous Kings stickers and pins, and a t-shirt that was worn for the "March on Baseball." Also included are plaques acknowledging McCormack's contributions to both the "March on Baseball" and the creation of Eagle Lake and a hat representing the group that constructed the camp, the Telephone Pioneer all volunteer construction company. Series VI is made up of photographs and electrnic media, most covering the early days of the Kings move from Kansas City to Sacramento. Also notable are images documenting the construction of ARCO I, from January to October 1985. A single 16 GB flashdrive is included and contains 8 GBs of news footage from 1979 into the 1980s relating to the Sacramento Sports Association and the Kings as provided by longtime KCRA Channel 3 reporter John Malos.The final series, made up of appointment books, covers appointments, ruminations and highlights for the years 1985 through 1994, minus 1986.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Frank McCormack Collection, MC 79, Sacramento Room, Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, California.


Scrapbooks Series I


Box 1 1978-1979


Box 2 1979-1982


Box 3 1983


Box 4 1984-1985


Box 4.1 1983-1985


Box 5 1985


Box 6 1985


Box 7 1985


Box 8 1985


Box 9 1985


Box 10 1986


Box 11 1986


Box 12 1987


Box 13 1987-1988


Box 14 1989


Correspondence Series II


Business and Government Documents Series III


Published Materials Series IV


Photographs and Electronic Media Series V


Artifacts and Ephemera Series VI


Appointment Books Series VII