Legendary Bill Weiss collection of baseball research donated to SABR San Diego chapter, San Diego Public Library

A legendary collection of baseball material, including invaluable research, printed materials and historic literature dating back to the 1870s, has found a new home in the San Diego Central Library’s Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center.

The donation enhances San Diego’s position as holding the most comprehensive assemblage of baseball research materials outside of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. The public is invited to a free presentation of select collection material on Saturday, Feb. 15.

The William J. Weiss Collection of baseball history was donated jointly to the San Diego Public Library and San Diego Ted Williams Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). The collection, cultivated by Weiss, a well-respected baseball historian who worked with many minor league baseball teams, provides comprehensive player information equal to that available at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“We are proud and honored to be the recipient of this remarkable collection,” said Dan Boyle, president of SABR’s San Diego Ted Williams Chapter. “We’re certain that baseball fans of all ages from San Diego and beyond will treasure this priceless collection for generations to come.”

The public is invited to learn from baseball historians about select collection artifacts during the next SABR chapter meeting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 15 in the San Diego Public Library auditorium. Padres/Fox San Diego broadcaster Mark Grant will headline the free public event.

Beginning in mid-February, select Weiss Collection materials will join existing baseball memorabilia and literature within the Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center located on the eighth floor of the San Diego Central Library @ Joan ? Irwin Jacobs Common.

A rare treat for baseball buffs is a compilation of thousands of individual questionnaires that were filled out by high school ballplayers of past generations who would go on to play Major League Baseball.

“The Weiss collection adds so much depth and richness to our already outstanding baseball research collection,” said Deborah L. Barrow, the San Diego Public Library director. “We are grateful to the Weiss’ for sharing this treasure trove of information that adds to the breadth of our collection. The Weiss contribution helps the Library connect to the community and provides a valuable resource that belongs to society. “

Pictured at his home office in 1955Additional items within the Weiss Collection include:

  • A vast array of books and related literature about baseball
  • Thousands of major league media guides, yearbooks and souvenir programs
  • Major league and minor league team organization guides
  • Long-lost editions of The Sporting News and Baseball magazine
  • Major and minor league score sheets and record books
  • Newspaper and magazine clippings of memorable events, photos and stories

The entire collection is being carefully sorted, a process that is expected to take several months before the material is digitized and the entire collection made public via the Internet.

The donation highlights a close collaboration and shared educational vision between the San Diego Public Library and the San Diego Ted Williams Chapter of the Society for Baseball Research Chapter, which works to preserve the history of baseball and baseball in San Diego.

William J. Weiss: Long before computer databases and automated scorebooks, the legendary William J. Weiss was a prodigious statistician and historian for many of the game’s minor leagues. A long-time resident of Northern California, he died in 2011 at age 86. He joined SABR on September 3, 1971, as member No. 34 less than one month after the organization’s founding, and was the recipient of a SABR Salute in 1997.

San Diego Ted Williams Chapter of SABR: Founded in 1990, the Ted Williams Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research is dedicated to celebrating and preserving the memory of San Diego and professional baseball’s long history. The Society for American Baseball Research, founded in 1971, has grown to more than 6,000 members worldwide. Membership primarily consists of fans devoted to baseball’s history, statistics and research.

San Diego Public Library: The San Diego Public Library is the largest library system in the region, serving a population of more than 1.3 million people. Its mission is to inspire lifelong learning through connections to knowledge and each other. Learn about other events at the San Diego Public Library’s Central Library and 35 branches, find links to numerous additional resources, or search for materials in the Library’s online catalog at www.SanDiegoLibrary.org.

San Diego Public Library Foundation: The San Diego Public Library Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering excellence in the free public library system. Through advocacy and financial support, the Library Foundation extends and enhances library programs, collections and services. Since its founding in 2002, the Foundation has raised more than $100 million to support San Diego’s Libraries.


Originally published: February 12, 2014. Last Updated: February 12, 2014.