As today is opening day (not counting the games played in Japan) for the 2012 Major League Baseball season, we here in the UCI Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives wanted to pay tribute to America’s national pastime. Now, talking baseball with your colleagues can soon run foul, as team loyalty runs deep for some of us. One way to see the game from a different perspective than die hard team loyalty is to score it. It is not uncommon to hear from those who are not baseball fans about how long the baseball season is or how boring a game can be. Not so–especially when every pitch, every at bat, every caught or missed ball, every wild throw matters. When you score a game, you watch everything and every game counts. Best of all, you get to judge for yourself if a missed catch or a wild throw was an error or not. Each scorer documents a game in his or her own way and the intricacies of each game is recorded for history.
The McPherson family papers and photographs (MS-R006) is a rich archival collection that documents an Orange County, CA family from 1853 to 1964. William McPherson (1885-1964) was born in Orange County and attended Santa Ana High School from 1900 until his graduation in June 1904. A 1903 baseball score book from the collection documents some the games for Santa Ana High School for that year, as William McPherson played for the team (left fielder). It is not known who scored the games but my guess it was either his brother, Vincent, or his father, Stephen. [Note: the McPherson family papers and photographs (MS-R006) is currently being processed and a revised finding aid will be available in June 2012. The collection is being processed via support from the Raymond L. Watson Library Fund.]
This is a Spalding’s Pocket Score Book, published by A. G. Spalding & Brothers. Below you’ll see McPherson’s name in the line up for Santa Ana. Throughout the score book, you also may recognize some other Orange County names such as Meats and Spurgeon, which most of us today just think of as streets. The game that is shown below took place on March 28, 1903 between Santa Ana High School and Long Beach High School. By the way, Albert Goodwill Spalding (1850-1915) was a pitcher who began playing baseball in 1866 and played Major League Baseball from 1871-1878. He founded the now well-known sporting goods company in 1876 and was inducted posthumously into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.
Oh, and one more thing…GO SOX!