Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding Aid to the Dick Dobbins Collection on the Pacific Coast League, 1866-1999, bulk 1902-1999 MS 4031
MS 4031, MSP 4031  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (168.06 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Indexing Terms
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography of Dick Dobbins
  • History of the Pacific Coast League
  • Scope and Contents of Collection
  • Arrangement

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Dick Dobbins collection on the Pacific Coast League
    Dates: 1866-1999,
    Date (bulk): bulk 1902-1999
    Collection Numbers: MS 4031, MSP 4031
    Creator: Dobbins, Dick, 1934-1999
    Physical Description:
    Extent: 52 boxes, 34 volumes, 18 albums, 6 oversize boxes
    (64 linear feet)
    Repository: California Historical Society
    678 Mission Street
    San Francisco, CA, 94105
    415-357-1848
    reference@calhist.org
    URL: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
    Physical Location: Collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English.
    Abstract: 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.

    Information for Researchers

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Technical Requirements

    Use of the audiotapes may require the creation of listening copies for some recordings.

    Publication Rights

    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.
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Collection of Dick Dobbins: Baseball Historian, Memorabilia Expert, Fan Extraordinaire, 1902-1999, MS 4031, California Historical Society.

    Publication Note

    Some of the materials in the collection have been published in the following books:
    Dobbins, Dick. The Grand Minor League: An Oral History of the Old Pacific Coast League . Emeryville, CA: Woodford Press, 1999.
    Dobbins, Dick, and Jon Twichell. Nuggets on the Diamond: Professional Baseball in the Bay Area from the Gold Rush to the Present . San Francisco: Woodford Press, 1994.

    Separated Material

    Photographs and albums of trading cards in this collection are shelved as MSP 4031.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Dobbins, Dick, 1934-1999--Archives.
    Pacific Coast League--History.
    Pacific Coast League--Pictorial works.
    San Francisco Seals (Baseball team)--Pictorial works.
    Oakland Oaks (Baseball team)--Pictorial Works.
    Los Angeles Angels (Baseball team)--Pictorial Works.
    Baseball-- California--History.
    Baseball--California--Pictorial works.
    Baseball--California--San Francisco.
    Baseball--California--Oakland.
    Baseball players-- United States--Interviews.
    Baseball players-- United States--Pictorial works.
    Baseball players--California--History.
    Baseball players--California--Pictorial works.
    Baseball players--California--San Francisco.
    Baseball players--California--Oakland.
    Photographic prints.
    Photograph albums.
    Baseball cards.
    Ephemera.
    Audiocassettes.
    Oral histories.
    Scrapbooks.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Mrs. Judith P. Dobbins and family, December 1999.

    Accruals

    No additions are expected.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Wendy Welker and Tanya Hollis, with the assistance of Doug McWilliams, Matthew Kroot, and John C. Lamberson, 1999-2006. Funding for processing this collection was provided by Mrs. Judith Dobbins.

    Biography of Dick Dobbins

    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.

    History of the Pacific Coast League

    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.
    As the population on the West Coast grew and transportation over longer distances became less time-consuming and expensive, there was a push to move Major League Baseball west. In 1958, the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and the New York Giants to San Francisco, ending the unopposed popularity of the three most affluent PCL teams, as well as the independent status of the PCL. Shortly after the arrival of Major League Baseball to California, the PCL was incorporated into Major League Baseball's national farm club system. The PCL still operates as of 2009 as a AAA minor league, the most advanced classification below Major League Baseball.

    Scope and Contents of Collection

    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.

    Arrangement

    Arranged mainly as received, organized by document type, in four series: Series 1: Pacific Coast League Records; Series 2: Printed Materials, Scrapbooks, and Clippings; Series 3: Dick Dobbins Personal Papers, Research Materials, Writings and Collections; Series 4: Photographs and Albums. Many documents were removed by Dick Dobbins and never refiled; Doug McWilliams, a colleague of Dobbins, assisted with the refiling of the documents in their original order.