San Diego library collection is a major league hit

From Peter Rowe at U-T San Diego on April 2, 2012, with quotes from SABR member Jim Gates:

To satisfy their cravings, San Diego’s baseball fans head downtown — and not just to catch the Padres, whose season begins Thursday.

Just a short walk from Petco Park is one of the West Coast’s leading collections of writings, films and music about this sport. The San Diego Baseball Research Center, tucked inside the central library, contains 120 shelves of books devoted to local heroes (“The San Diego Padres Encyclopedia”), players present (“Albert Pujols”) and past (“Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story”), even a history of Japanese baseball cards (“Sayonara Home Run!”).


The center began in 2000 when the city’s library system received $4,000 and about 1,400 books from the Ted Williams Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). Since then, the collection has mushroomed, threatening to crowd out its less-athletic neighbors in the central library’s second floor Art, Music & Recreation Section.

Many of these treasures, then, have been relegated to the basement. In this windowless literary dungeon, the air is musty and the atmosphere mysterious. Book-lined aisles extend into a dimly-lit distance; stumbling through the gloom, you meet no one — except the spirits of games past.

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Originally published: April 3, 2012. Last Updated: April 3, 2012.