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Finding Aid to the Dick Dobbins Collection on the Pacific Coast League, 1866-1999, bulk 1902-1999 MS 4031
MS 4031, MSP 4031  
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Collection Overview
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The Dick Dobbins collection includes materials pertaining mainly to the Pacific Coast League (PCL), and the teams that comprise the league. The bulk of the material was collected by others and purchased by Dobbins, and dates from 1902 to 1957; materials that were collected or created by Dobbins date from 1946 through 1998. Included in the collection are records of the Pacific Coast League's head office and official publications, printed materials relating to the PCL, both the teams and individual players, including: programs, scorecards, yearbooks, articles, final statistics, records, player sketches, blue books, and baseball cards; and photographs of teams, players, PCL staff, and stadiums. Teams with the largest amount of materials are the Oakland Oaks, the San Francisco Seals, and the Los Angeles Angels. Also included are typescripts for Dobbins' works on the Pacific Coast League, Nuggets on the Diamond and The Grand Minor League, and audio recordings of interviews Dobbins conducted with players and PCL staff. Also included in the collection are scrapbooks and newspaper clippings on the league as a whole and for specific teams, and a small amount of material related to Major League Baseball.
Dick Dobbins, a resident of Berkeley, California, began collecting baseball cards in 1946, the beginning of a life-long passion for the Pacific Coast League (PCL). After many years of collecting cards, photographs, and other PCL-related memorabilia, Dobbins eventually developed a business dealing in baseball memorabilia during the late 1960s. Later, he organized the first Northern California sports memorabilia show, which focused as much on the PCL as it did on Major League Baseball. He authored many articles on such topics as collecting memorabilia, the history of baseball in the San Francisco Bay Area, and the PCL. He was a consultant to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the San Francisco Examiner, and the San Francisco Giants. In 1994 he co-authored (with Jon Twichell) a definitive history of baseball in the San Francisco Bay Area, Nuggets on the Diamond. He subsequently authored The Grand Minor League: an Oral History of the Old Pacific Coast League, which was published posthumously in 1999. The Pacific Coast League (PCL) was founded in 1903, and consisted of four franchises from the California League - Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, and Los Angeles - and two new franchises in Portland and Seattle. For the next 54 years, the PCL was the dominant baseball presence on the West Coast, eventually adding franchises in Hollywood and San Diego. 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." While major league teams from the American and National Leagues routinely negotiated with PCL teams for the rights to individual players, the PCL was not part of the major/minor league system. The PCL's talent pool was extraordinary, as evidenced by the number of National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees beginning their careers in the PCL, including Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Tony Lazzeri, "Lefty" Gomez, the Waner brothers, Ernie Lombardi, and Harry Heilman.
Extent: 52 boxes, 34 volumes, 18 albums, 6 oversize boxes
(64 linear feet)
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of the Library and Archives, North Baker Research Library, California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Consent is given on behalf of the California Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner.
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