Baseball in Orange County (Images of America)
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Organized baseball in Orange County began in the late 1880s when community teams began forming among oil well workers. Around 1900, a farm boy from Kansas named Walter Johnson arrived with his family. Soon, the flame-throwing future hall-of-fame pitcher would be dominating games throughout the county as a star for Fullerton Union High School. As the popularity of baseball grew, more teams and leagues formed in Santa Ana, Anaheim, Huntington Beach, and other cities. Connie Mack brought the Philadelphia Athletics to spring train in Orange County in the 1940s. Joe DiMaggio played for his Santa Ana Air Base team after joining the Army. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, and many other legends visited Orange County over the years. Dozens of well-known players grew up here, and many are laid to rest here. In 1966, the California Angels played their first game in Orange County, where they remain today as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The baseball history in Orange County is rich--and surprising.
walks, and runs scored. On April 13, 2011, Dykstra was arrested for investigation of grand theft, a day after he was charged with a federal bankruptcy crime. Dykstra graduated from Garden Grove High School in 1981. Three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove Award–winner Bret Boone graduated from El Dorado High School in Placentia. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the fifth round of the 1990 amateur draft and went on to play for the Mariners, Reds, Braves, Padres, and Twins. Former
1998, but the booth was brought down to Fullerton after that, and today it lives on in Tommy’s adopted hometown. The Newport Sports Museum may have been inspired in 1953 when, at the age of 12 years old, John W. Hamilton was given a signed football from the Look All-American football team. As the years passed, Hamilton’s passion for collecting sports memorabilia grew, as did his collection. His impressive collection is now one of the largest displays of sports memorabilia ever assembled. In
Angeles Dodgers from 1968 to 1987. He was fired from his post because of a high-profile incident in which he made remarks seen as racist during a live interview on April 6, 1987. He died in 1998 and is buried in Orange County at Westminster Memorial Park in Westminster. In this image from a baseball clinic held at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles on February 8, 1958, Campanis is seen to the immediate right of Dodger Gil Hodges as Hodges demonstrates a fielding play. In 2011, Huntington Beach’s Ocean
known photographs of the park. This photograph shows the El Modena and Atlantic Richfield baseball teams in 1915. The image caption reads, “Group portrait of members of the two teams in baseball game, El Modena baseball team vs. Atlantic Richfield baseball team, 1915. Viviano Bracamontes is at the far left on the back row. Behind the group are oil derricks.” El Modena is located in the city of Orange. (Courtesy of Orange Public Library.) Huntington Beach, along with Anaheim, Santa Ana,
In 1979, the franchise relocated to White Plains, New York. The Orange Lionettes played home games at Hart Park in Orange, starting their first season there before the park was even finished being built; the park was a 1935–1936 City of Orange/ Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. The field remains, though the old bleachers have been replaced. This is George Bellis Park in Buena Park in the 1940s. Back then it was simply called Buena Park Recreation Park, and it was here where the Buena