Mr. Rutgers requested a brief introductory history of Northern California baseball as an underpinning; a backdrop or gesso upon which to paint; a truth to build upon. The idea seemed like a good one, but it would take days of eye-straining research pouring over past newspaper articles and box scores stored on microfilm in the archives of local libraries; however, such research would provide actual recorded accounts of the past -- knowledge based on truth; at least that which is nearest the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

EARLY BEGINNINGS: Albert Goodwin Spalding led the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (National Association) in pitching during each of the leagueʼs five years of existence (1871-1875). While pitching for the NAʼs Boston Red Stockings, Spalding went 19-10 (3.36 ERA), 38-8 (1.85 ERA), 41-14 (2.99 ERA), 52-16 (1.92 ERA), and an incredible 54-5 (1.59 ERA) season with a league-leading seven shutouts in 1875. He then founded the National League where he went 47-12 (1.75 ERA) as a playing-manager for the Chicago White Stockings of the newly formed league and 1-0 a year later before retiring as a player and becoming the White Stockings president and part-owner. During his seven-year career as a professional base ball player, Spalding compiled a record of 252 wins and 65 losses with a 2.13 ERA ... not to mention his career .313 batting average. His 617 innings pitched in 1874 and career .795 career winning percentage are both the gameʼs best all-time. Some historians recognize the National Association as base ballʼs first professional major league; however, Major League Baseball and the Baseball Hall of Fame do not; instead, claiming that the National League, founded by Spalding, as the gameʼs first professional major league.

   There has been much debate regarding the origins of baseball, or base ball as the game was called before WWl, so much so, that a national debate took place in an attempt to find ... “the truth.” There is little doubt that A.G. Spalding played a major role in the shaping of major league base ball in its early beginnings, not only as a player, manager, owner, organizer, ambassador, and major supplier of athletic equipment, but also, as a respected baseball historian; however, his claim that Abner Doubleday was the inventor of the game of base ball was met with strong criticism; so much so, that he organized a special counsel, ahem, known as the Millʼs Commission to prove his point. The biased committee was headed by former National League president Abe Mills and included two other former NL presidents along with three prominent NL base ball men. Mills stated that base ball was strictly American and homegrown. The opposition was an English-born American sportswriter, baseball statistician, and historian by the name of Henry Chadwick who claimed that base ball evolved from the British game of rounders, a game he played as a kid while growing up in the UK. Chadwick, a writer by trade, has been given credit for the invention of the box score with the symbol K for a strikeout and was the first to calculate batting averages and earned run averages. In 1867, he published The Game of Base Ball -- first hardcover book on base ball. Chadwick was not a member of the Millʼs Commission and the debate became a matter of nationalism.

   Abe Mills was a member of the Fifth New York volunteer infantry at the beginning of the Civil War. Doubleday, who once lived in Cooperstown, New York, was a Civil War general and had fired the first shot in defense at Fort Sumner. Ads were placed requesting any information regarding base ballʼs origins. After three years with little research conducted, the committee accepted a reply from Abner Graves who stated that he witnessed a game in Cooperstown, New York in 1839, and that Abner Doubleday was the organizer. Graves would have been five years old in 1839 and later wound up in an insane asylum. Nevertheless, Mills and company accepted this folklore and Doubleday was credited as the father of base ball with Cooperstown getting selected as the site for Baseballʼs Hall of Fame. Another theory gives credit to a Forty-niner as the inventor of the game of base ball.

   It all began in 1849 when they flooded into Northern California in droves, from all corners of the globe, by the thousands. They left behind their jobs and families, all the while risking their lives by fighting their way through famine, extreme weather, disease, and hostile natives; initially on foot, horseback, and donkey ... so say the history books. Some arrived from the East after making their way to Independence, Missouri where they hoped to join a wagon train and travel across the Great Plains, then over the Sierra Mountains, and finally, into what just a few years later would become the “Golden State” of California. Others came by sea, sailing around the Cape of Good Hope before docking at San Franciscoʼs Barnaby Coast. From San Francisco, the Forty-niners would catch a steamer and chug their way up the Sacramento and Feather Rivers before finally arriving at the future boomtown of Marysville -- "Gateway to the Goldfields.” Gold fever! California or bust.

   Among these early gold-seeking Forty-niners was Alexander Joy Cartwright, a New York City book dealer, bank teller, round-baller, and part-time fireman. Some historians say it was Cartwright who founded the modern version of base ball when he revised the rules of a game called "town ball," and in 1845, formed the sport's first organized base ball club -- the Knickerbockers of New York. According to Cartwright's disputed “new testament” of rules, no longer was a base runner ruled "out" when hit by a ball thrown by a fielder. The game was to be played on a diamond-shaped field including four bases spaced ninety feet apart with foul territory. Three-out innings, fixed batting orders, and nine-player lineups were also instituted. In 1846, Cartwright and his Knickerbockers crossed the Hudson River and played base ball's first organized game on a grassy meadow known as Elysian Fields. The great lyric poet Pindar of Thebes described his version of Elysian Fields as blissful reserves which included shady parks where music and athletic events were performed for those related to the gods and other heroes. It has been noted that players competed for the noble joy of the game even though the Knickerbockers were crushed by the New York Base Ball Club 23-1 in that first organized game of base ball.

   At age 29, Cartwright caught gold fever and left for San Francisco in January of 1849, leaving behind his jobs, wife, four children, and the rest of the Knickerbockers. The overland journey took more than five months with Cartwright walking most of the way. His brother took the sailing route and their plan was to meet in San Francisco before heading to the goldfields. It was too late, as the “easy pickin's,” or surface gold, was gone. Some baseball aficionados say Cartwright planted the first seeds of modern baseball in California, however, he arrived suffering from dysentery, and only stuck around for about a week while recuperating from the nasty ailment. Not accustomed to pick and shovel work, he decided to pack up his bat, ball, book of rules, and set sail for a more realistic Elysian Field -- Hawaii, where he spent the rest of his life. It's most likely that other ball-playing Knickerbockers initiated the game after coming to Northern California a few years later seeking their own fortunes.


Although the San Francisco Bay Area is considered “off base” as far as Mr. Rutgersʼ requirements are concerned, St. Maryʼs College, the University of California at Berkeley, and the DiMaggio boys, nevertheless, were headwaters and played major roles in the shaping of Northern California Baseball history. Intercollegiate base ball began in Northern California as early as 1883 when the St. Mary's College Phoenix, then located in San Francisco, and Santa Clara College began a rivalry that has lasted for more than 130 years. St. Maryʼs won the initial meeting and dominated all of college baseball in the West during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries while the Broncos have dominated the rivalry during the modern era since WWll. St. Mary's played their first game in 1872 and were originally known as the St. Mary's Base Ball Club, nicknamed the Phoenix, before changing their name to the Gaels during the 1940s. The significance of St. Mary's baseball lies in her heritage. The schoolʼs greatest teams and stars were from her initial beginnings when Brother Agnon McCann was in charge of baseball operations and preached that baseball was a part of St. Mary's educational mission with aims to turn undisciplined young boys into responsible citizens. During a span of four years, 1881 to 1884, seven Phoenix ballplayers had begun major league careers, six of which were St. Mary's pitchers, while 14 St. Mary's players had reached the major leagues by 1910. Only Notre Dame, Holy Cross, Georgetown, and Brown University had sent more players to the Big Leagues. St. Mary's won her first championship, the Pacific Amateur League in 1892, and a year later, won the California Collegiate title.

   St. Mary's College of California was founded in 1863 by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese as a diocesan college for boys. The College was originally located in San Francisco and operated for several years under Archdiocesan direction. In 1868, the De La Salle Christian Brothers took control of the school, and in 1889, the campus moved to a facility known as the “Brickpile,” located at the corner of 30th and Broadway in Oakland. In 1928, the college was moved to its current location in the scenic foothills overlooking San Francisco's East Bay in Moraga, approximately ten miles northeast of Oakland. St. Mary's dominated college baseball in the West by winning 12 straight California-Nevada Baseball League titles between 1901 and 1913. The 1907 Phoenix rank as the most successful St. Mary's baseball team of all-time and considered the best collegiate team before WWll. They finished the season undefeated, competing mostly against the best teams in the West, both collegiate and professional. Conquests included victories over Stanford University, the University of California Bears, a team made up of professional Pacific Coast League players, and the Chicago White Sox in a spring training game. The 21-0-1 Phoenix sent five players to the major leagues, one of which is in the Hall of Fame, while 14 members went on to play professional baseball. The pitching staff tossed eight shutouts and allowed only one run in eight other games. No team scored more than four runs against the 1907 Phoenix.

   The 1907 Phoenix was managed by twenty-four-year-old Hal Chase. "Prince Hal" was born in Los Gatos, attended Los Gatos High School, and then rival Santa Clara College before embarking upon a wild, fifteen-year career in the major leagues. In 1906, after the collegiate season, Chase's summer job became first baseman for the American League New York Highlanders, later becoming the New York Yankees, where he led his team in hitting with his .323 average (third-best in the American League) and placed second in the league in both runs scored and rbi's. Chase's major-league career ended abruptly when he was banned for life by MLB Commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis for his alleged role as "middleman" during the 1919 Black Sox scandal.

   The 1915 World Series featured four former Phoenix players, three of which played deciding roles in the series' outcome -- Harry Hooper, Duffy Lewis and Dutch Leonard of the world champion 101-50 Boston Red Sox. Dutch Leonard bested future Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander with a 3-hit, 2-1 victory in game three of the series. In the fifth and final game, Hooper hit two home runs and Lewis added another in Boston's clinching 5-4 victory. Hooper's two homers were one-bouncers over a shortened center field fence, then considered home runs. The Red Sox outfield of Hooper, Lewis, and Hall of Famer Tris Speaker is considered as one of the best defensive outfields of all-time. Twenty-year-old pitcher Babe Ruth was also a member of those 1915 BoSox where he hit .315 in 92 at-bats, second only to Speaker's .322 average. Ruth's four home runs and .576 slugging percentage led the team.

DIMAGGIO -- My initial thoughts regarding Northern California baseball were those of the DiMaggio boys, Joltinʼ Joe in particular. Joe DiMaggio and older brother Vince were born in the small fishing village of Martinez, California, across the bay about 25 miles northeast of San Francisco. Their father, Giuseppe, had moved there from Sicily because he had heard that he could earn a living as a fisherman and own his own boat, a small 16-footer. Giuseppe, Italian for Joseph, couldnʼt speak English nor much Italian. He spoke with a Sicilian tongue. Although Giuseppeʼs values were not quite la Cosa Nostra or la Mafia, he did, however, believe in family. Keep your head down, your mouth shut, and work hard to protect yourself and your family from government, nobles, the church, and other authoritarian predators. In the past, Sicily had been overrun by outsiders -- Greeks, Romans, other Europeans, and Arabs. Only family and silence could be trusted. Perhaps Joe DiMaggio inherited a few of these traits which would explain his aloof shyness. He rarely spoke while growing up, nor later when he became a Yankee.

   The DiMaggioʼs moved to the North Beach area of San Francisco when Joe was two years old. The fishing was better there and the boys were expected to follow in their fatherʼs footsteps by carrying on the family crabbing and fishing business. Older son Tom, who might have been the best slugger of the clan, followed suit, as did Giuseppeʼs second son Michael who later drowned while on a fishing trip in Bodega Bay. Younger brothers Vince and Joe Paul never cared for the fishy smell and lifestyle that surrounded San Franciscoʼs Fisherman's Wharf so they peddled newspapers to supplement the family living and attended Galileo High School. They played sandlot baseball and for company teams organized by Al Earl from his sporting goods store. Initially, Joe showed little interest in the game, only occasionally stepping up to the plate and jacking one out of sight. He thought it more cool to hang out across the street with a fag dangling from his lower lip. Joe occasionally played for the sandlot Jolly Knights, then Rossi Olive Oil with their snazzy new uniforms in the city "B" league before bolting to Sunset Produce of the "A" league because they paid him a few bucks. Suddenly, baseball had a worthwhile meaning and became a different ballgame.

   Vince was the first to rebel from the DiMaggio family when he quit high school, left home, and traveled north to play semi-pro baseball at Fort Bragg in the Lumber Leagues. Joe followed suit and quit school at age 16. In 1932, at age 19, Vince DiMaggio signed a contract with the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League. He was sent to Tucson, Arizona where he hit .347 with 25 home runs for the Lizards of the level-D Arizona-Texas League. Later that summer, he hit .270 in 59 games for the Seals and when San Francisco needed a shortstop at the end of the season, Vince got his 17-year-old little brother Joe a tryout. Joe was no shortstop but showed that he could hit and got an invite to spring training. Early the next season, Vince was released but Joe stayed on as the team's right fielder earning $225/month. It was rumored that Joe stole his brother's job.

   Joe DiMaggio started the 1933 season slowly but improved as the year went on. By midseason, the lowly Seals began winning with Joe leading the way with his ascending batting average and driving in winning runs. On May 28, the eighteen-year-old DiMaggio began a hitting streak. The San Francisco Chronicle tabbed Joe De Maggio (the press constantly misspelled DiMaggio) as a man with nerves of steel or no nerves at all after he hit in 50 straight games and broke Jack Ness' Pacific Coast League record of 49 that dated back to 1915. Reporters referred to him as "Dead Pan" Joe as he answered questions about the streak with a simple nod or mere shrug of the shoulders. He went on to hit in 61 straight games setting a minor league record that still stands today and batted .405 during the streak. He finished the year with a .340 average with 28 home runs while his 169 RBI's led the PCL. One could say that Joe DiMaggio saved the San Francisco Seals and the Pacific Coast League. The stock market had crashed in 1929 and the country was still mired in "The Great Depression.” Attendance throughout the PCL was dwindling, however, picked up dramatically as DiMaggio's streak continued.

   After hitting .341 in 1934, the Seals optioned Joe's contract to the Yankees for a mere $25,000 but New York wanted him to spend one more year in San Francisco to make sure that a knee injury had healed, a mishap that Joe suffered while getting out of a taxi cab ... so he said. It was late and he was in an area of bars and nightclubs. Nevertheless, he was damaged goods and again suited up for the 1935 Seals. Vince dropped to hit .278 for the Hollywood Stars with 24 HR's while Joe led the 103-70 Seals to a pennant and PCL league championship. Joeʼs .398 average was second only to "Ox" Eckhardt's .399 average while his 34 homers and .672 SLG were also second-best in the PCL. Clearly, Joe DiMaggio did not steal his brother's job with the Seals. He earned it.

   Not only had Joe's knee healed, but he was tutored in 1935 by new Seal's manager Francis "Lefty" O'Doul, a San Francisco native, and tabbed as among the greatest hitting instructors of all-time. Some give O'Doul credit for Joe's success as a hitter by lengthening his stance, crowding the plate, and placing his weight on the front foot ala the Charlie Lau theory; however, photos of Joe's classic swing show that his weight is clearly planted on his back foot. Keep the weight back and wait till the last split second before starting the swing. Another theory was that O'Doul did little or nothing at all to change DiMaggio's swing. Why mess with perfection? Joe was a natural.

   Prior to 1936, the Yankees had finished in second place for the third year in a row and Joe D fit in perfectly with their new attitude -- give it all you've got on every play, every pitch. Gone was the "Babe" along with his clogging up the base paths, dogging it in the outfield, and boozing lifestyle. The loudmouths and braggarts of the team were either traded or released early in the season. When it came to drawing attention to himself, the stoic Joe DiMaggio preferred to be a no-show with a quiet sense of confidence. He wanted to live on the outside looking in but the press wouldn't allow it, constantly making him the center of attention. It made for good copy. Joe was no spiritual leader. That honor belonged to his roommate -- Bay Area native Lefty Gomez. Joe led by example, letting his bat, style of play, hard work, and hustle do all the talking. It soon began to rub off onto the other players. Seven Yankees hit over .300 with light-hitting Frankie Crosetti hitting .288, his best during a 17-year career. Joe DiMag and the Yanks won the 1936 World Series and would repeat three times making it four in a row. The Yankees had found their man to replace the legendary Ruth, and it only took one year and twenty-five K to land him.

   During Joe DiMaggio's 13 years in New York, the Yankees won 10 pennants and nine World Series championships, a dynasty unmatched, with Joe usually leading the way. In 1937, he finished second in the MVP voting when he led the American League in four major categories: Home Runs (46), Slugging Percentage (.673), Runs (151), and Total Bases (418). DiMaggio was named American League MVP three times (1939, 1941, and 1947 and won back-to-back AL batting titles in 1939 and 1940 (.381 and .352). In 1941, he hit safely in 56 straight games, a prized major-league record that still stands today while leading the AL in RBI's with 125 and total bases with 348; more impressively, only striking out 13 times in 541 at-bats. In 1950, at age 35, DiMaggio led the AL with his .585 SLG when he hit 32 home runs, 10 triples, and 33 doubles. For his career, DiMaggio compiled a lifetime .325 batting average with 361 HRs, 131 triples, 389 doubles, 2,214 hits, and 1,537 RBIs with an incredible career .579 slugging percentage. He averaged 34 HRs, 12 triples, 36 doubles, and 143 RBIs per season while only striking out an average of 34 times each year. His stats would have been even greater had he not missed three years (age 28-30) due to military service during WWll. He rarely started a season healthy, often not joining the starting lineup till a month or more after opening day. He was a major league All-Star 13 times (every year that he played).

   In his autobiography, Lucky To Be A Yankee, Joe was considered lucky, but certainly not lucky in love, nor a family man. His first marriage ended in disappointment. Shortly after Joe retired as a ballplayer, he married Marilyn Monroe. He cherished the young starlet but he also wanted to possess her and that just wasn't going to happen. Strike three was when she posed "Over the Grate.” Joe thought the iconic scene from the Seven Year Itch to be exhibitionist, disgusting, shameful, and deplorable. The marriage barely lasted nine months. In Tom Claven's book, The DiMaggios, it's noted that Joe knew about Marilynʼs drug problems, wanted her back, and convinced her to leave that scene in New York to remarry. Too late. Just two days before they were to wed a second time, he got the news that she was dead from an overdose. Did Bobby and John Kennedy, whom she was having affairs, play a role in her death? Did Norma Jeane swallow too big a gulp of that presidential joy juice, that magical medicinal elixir John was taking for all his ills?

   Joe DiMaggio was born shy, reserved, and self-conscious. He didn't ask to be a ballplayer and admittedly said he was a loner. He participated within society but preferred to be left alone with his hand-rolled cigs, a habit developed as a young teen that would eventually kill him. Joe D didn't celebrate with the rest of the team after an important home victory; but instead, shied away from adoring fans and the press by quickly heading for his favorite New York hangout -- Toots Shor's in midtown Manhattan, where Shor, a former bouncer, reserved a table in the corner and made sure Joe was protected from any madding crowd. There, Joe could relax with his cigarettes and coffee and reminisce over the godlike acts that he had performed. How could he not experience some sort of self-admiration and inner glory considering the celestial feats that he had accomplished? There was no need for showboating, grandstanding, cadillacing, or peacocking; no need to beckon for attention. Joe was silent, only standing out due to his greatness. Joltinʼ Joe was a class act.

   Joe D was the quintessential hero -- an Ayn Randʼs Howard Roark or John Galt -- proud, quiet, emotions in check with unmatched preeminence. Randʼs philosophy of Objectivism takes shape with her fictional characters. Joe D was real, concrete. He was to San Franciscans and Yankee fans as Garibaldi was to Italians. DiMaggio was the epitome of pride and determination. The Latin term existere is defined as: to exist, to arise, to become, prove to be, step forth, to stand out from the rest. The “Yankee Clipper” possessed all the characteristics, some innate, while others arose along with his magnificence. Although he did his best to stay out of the limelight, his stats and the press made sure that his essence was front and center. Along with Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio was the ultimate ball-playing existere. Joltin' Joe was a rock, an island, and Northern California's greatest ballplayer of all-time.

THE GOLDEN BEARS from the University of California at Berkeley, or simply Cal, was founded in 1868, first fielded a baseball team in 1892, and operated without the aid of a coach for their first five seasons. They did not win a single game (0-11) while only playing 2-3 games a year against nearby colleges Stanford, Santa Clara, and St. Mary's. Berkeley won their first ballgame in 1897 and finished at 1-2 for the year. In 1899, Joe Corbett from San Francisco, younger brother of heavyweight champion "Gentleman" Jim Corbett, managed Berkeley to a 2-0 season. Corbett had earlier pitched St. Mary's to a Pacific Amateur Baseball League title in 1892.

   Jimmie Schaeffer coached Cal's football team from 1909 to 1915 before resigning, possibly forced, after Cal lost a football game 72-0 to Washington. He also coached Cal baseball for five seasons with a career 39-21-2 record, but it took a bit of magic before the Golden Bears finally won a championship when Carl Zamloch, from Oakland, California, took the helm as Calʼs head baseball coach in 1916. That summer, he played the outfield for the Marysville Giants and had a prominent role in their winning a Trolley League championship. Several years later, he published a book -- 17 Simple but Mystifying Tricks to Entertain Your Friends under the pseudonym "The Great Zam.” Zamloch often assisted his father in vaudeville acts and later, when not coaching at Cal, toured the country performing his own magic. Zamlock won 146 games, lost 93, and tied seven during his 13 years as head baseball coach at Berkeley including an 11-2 record in 1925 -- the best winning percentage (.846) in Cal baseball history. In 1929, his last season at Cal, the Golden Bears won their first conference baseball title with an 11-3 California Intercollegiate Baseball League record.

   After edging USC of the California Intercollegiate Baseball Association in 1957, the Bears advanced to the District-8 Regionals where they bested Pepperdine University in a best-of-three series (4-2, 6-10, 10-3). The title sent Cal to Omaha, Nebraska for their second appearance in college baseball's World Series where they shutout Northern Colorado 4-0 in the opening round, followed with an 8-2 victory over Iowa State, an 8-0 whitewashing versus Penn State, a 9-1 win over Iowa State in the semi-final, and another blanking of Penn State; this time 1-0 in the final and claiming their second National Championship. The Bears scored 30 runs in the tournament while only allowing three including three shutouts. The pitching performances are among the greatest, if not the greatest in CWS history. Cal catcher Charles Thompson, shortstop Earl Robinson, and pitcher Doug Weiss were named 1st-team All-Americans while nine Golden Bears would sign professional baseball contracts.

   Only a few athletes have been named All-American twice in their careers. Cal pitcher Doug Weiss accomplished the feat twice in just a months. The Deming Loggers, representing the tiny community of Deming, Washington with a population of 250, finished second (11-7) in the tough semi-pro Northwest International League. The circuit included the Bellingham Bells and the Tacoma-Chaney Studs, both perennial powerhouses. Weiss and his Loggers defeated Bellingham 6-4 and again 6-5 in the finals of the National Baseball Congress' Washington semi-pro State tournament. The championship qualified the Loggers for entry into the NBC semi-pro World Series held annually in Wichita, Kansas. There, the Loggers finished as National runners-up with a 6-2 record, losing twice to the four-time NBC champion Fort Wayne, Indiana, Dairymen. Weiss went 3-0 with 20 strikeouts in 27 innings pitched and was named NBC All- American.

   Doug Weiss pitched three seasons at Cal with a record of 31-12. He set Golden Bear career records for Most Career Victories with 31 (best all-time) and Career Strikeouts (275, second-best all-time). His 344.7 career innings pitched remains third-best in Cal history. In 1957, he set single-season records that still stand today: Most Wins (14), Complete Games (12), and Innings Pitched (149). His 1.51 ERA and 107 Ks in 1957 were Cal records and both stand as fifth-best all-time. He was named Cal's MVP and a few months later named to the All-American Team. Weiss toiled four seasons in the minors (1957 to 1960) with a career 24-27 record and 5.04 ERA. His best season as a pro was his first when he went 13-5 with a 3.35 ERA for the Modesto Reds of the "C" California League.

   Cal baseball coach Clint Evans knew he had a great team in 1947, so he suggested the idea of determining a National collegiate baseball champion. Basketball had a National tournament but not college baseball. A few months later, his California Golden Bears became college baseball's first National champion when they defeated the Bulldogs of Yale University, winners of the East, in a best two-out-of-three championship series. Yale was led by All-American Bill Howe and five future professionals, three of which would advance to the major leagues including All-American pitcher Frank Quinn. Cal was led by three All-Americans: pitcher Nino Barnise, outfielder John Fiscalini, and 17-year-old freshman pitcher-outfielder Jackie Jensen.

   The Golden Bears scored two runs in the first inning off Yale starter Jim Duffus to start the 1947 College World Series, however Bear's starter Nino Barnise allowed three in the bottom half and was immediately replaced by Dick Larner who in turn gave up another run in the second inning. Yale's ace pitcher Frank Quinn entered the game with the Bulldogs leading 4-2 and held Cal scoreless for the next five innings. Quinn had struck out 20 batters in an earlier game and his 149 Ks set a new Yale record. In the seventh, with Yale clinging to a 4-3 lead, Coach Evans sent pinch-hitter Jackie Jensen to the plate with a runner at third base. The freshman delivered a clutch, game-tying single and Cal followed with two more runs off the mighty Quinn in the eighth before unloading with 11 runs in the top of the ninth and coasting to an opening-game 17-4 victory.

   Jackie Jensen started on the mound for Cal in game two and took a 7-3 lead into the fourth inning when he lost control of his blazing fastball and allowed Yale to knot the score at seven apiece. Virgil Butler entered the game, put out the fire, and tossed shutout ball for five innings. The Bears had taken an 8-7 lead with an unearned run in the seventh inning before Yaleʼs George H.W. Bush, who later became America's forty- first president, stepped up to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and ... struck out! Cal became college baseball's first National champion and can thank “The Busher,” Yale's captain and first baseman for going 0-7 in the series. Yale returned to the CWS a year later against the University of Southern California and with that series knotted at one game apiece, George Bush stood in the on-deck circle in the last inning with USC leading by a single run. The bases were loaded with nobody out when a rare triple-play ended the game. Bush hit .208 for the 1947 season and .215 with one home run during his three-year career at Yale. One has to wonder what the world would be like today if the former Skull & Bones member could have hit his way out of a paper bag and signed a pro contract as did several of his Eli teammates. One also has to wonder why a .207 hitter was captain of a team full of All-Stars.

   Calʼs Jackie Jensen became known as “The Golden Boy” and went on to become one of the greatest athletes of all-time. After a stellar career with the Boston Red Sox, Jensen turned to managing, and in 1969, became head baseball coach at the University of Nevada, Reno. Among his first recruits was Olivehurst-Lindaʼs Davie Van Roth.