The Golden Game: The Story of California Baseball

The Golden Game: The Story of California Baseball

The Golden Game: The Story of California Baseball

The Golden Game: The Story of California Baseball


The Golden Game presents in words and pictures 150 years of baseball history, from sandlot ball in the 1850s and the Pacific Coast League to the western arrival of the Dodgers, Giants, Angels, Athletics, and Padres. Here is a stirring, colorfully written narrative about the state that has been the birthplace and proving ground for more Major Leaguers than any other, including Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Jackie Robinson. Blending U.S. and California history as a backdrop to a narrative rich with anecdotes, The Golden Game reveals the significant impact that California has had on baseball history.

Written not just for Californians but for all baseball fans, The Golden Game goes beyond its geographic boundaries to tell the fascinating saga of California baseball and how it has indelibly shaped the national pastime.


Hank Greenwald


Like the precious metal that drew thousands to the Golden State over 150 years ago, there are nuggets galore to be found in the mining of California’s rich baseball heritage. Fortunately, Kevin Nelson has successfully dug them up for us in The Golden Game: the Story of California Baseball.

The westward migration did not stop with the gold rush; the flow of those seeking a better life, and certainly a better climate, continues daily, enriching both California and those she welcomes. And, as was the case in the nineteenth century, people continue to bring their baseball interest with them in the twenty-first. But there is no residency requirement mandating that those who relocate will adopt local teams. Therefore, it is a common sight at ballparks in San Diego, Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland to witness fans cheering for teams like the Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox, and many others. Affection for the old hometown team is a transportable commodity, as is the love of the game itself. There are no geographic restrictions.

Much has been written about the imprint of baseball upon American life. Unlike sports whose presence seems to die at the end of their season, baseball knows no such boundaries. It remains with us through the long winter months, manifesting itself in the rehashing of playoffs and World Series outcomes. With the ushering in of a new year, the anticipation grows daily as we await the news heralding the rebirth of a new season: “Spring training . . .

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