Wrigley Field and the Pacific Coast League
Los Angeles’s Wrigley Field was built in South Los Angeles in 1925 by William K. Wrigley, Jr., chewing gum magnate and owner of the Los Angeles Angels. It was home to the Pacific Coast League’s Los Angeles Angels (bought by Wrigley in 1921) from 1925 to 1957 and Hollywood Stars from 1926 to 1935, plus 1938.
Dan Cisco writes in his latest book California Sports Astounding! that Wrigley Field is also where Ted Williams pitched and played left field as a 17-year-old for the San Diego Padres in a 1936 game against the Los Angeles Angels. The Padres lost that game, but Williams – whose baseball career was only interrupted when he served as a pilot during WW11 and the Korean War – went on to a long career, playing his first All-Star appearance in 1940 and his last in 1960, and being elected to the Hall of Fame in 1966.
The items featured here are selections from the California Historical Society’s Dick Dobbins collection on the Pacific Coast League, which 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. Included in the collection are printed materials relating to the PCL, both the teams and individual players, including: programs, scorecards, yearbooks, and baseball cards; and photographs of teams, players, PCL staff, and stadiums.
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. 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.
For more images of the Pacific Coast League from the Dick Dobbins collection held at the California Historical Society, visit the CHS Digital Library.
To learn about Dan Cisco’s latest book, California Sports Astounding! visit californiasportsastounding.com.