Many San Diegans don’t realize that our city–our amazing new Central Library, to be exact–contains a unique and important repository of American history. The Sullivan Family Baseball Research Center, located on the eighth floor of the downtown library, is home to the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) Collection. It constitutes the largest baseball library west of Cooperstown! Shelves of books, magazines, journals, scrapbooks and other historical documents, and many photographs, have recorded in detail the fascinating history of American baseball. And it’s all open to the public!
The research center is directly adjacent to the spacious, high-domed reading room. In the center of the collection is a shiny sculpture of a player swinging a bat, titled Male baseball #1, created in 2009 by artist Yoram Wolberger. On one wall among many old photos, a video screen shows scenes from baseball history. This is one super cool section of the library!
According to the website of the Society for American Baseball Research: “The Baseball Research Center opened in 2001, with an initial collection of books and microfilm donated by SABR’s Ted Williams Chapter. In the years since, it has grown to more than 3,000 publications, books, and journals, and 300 microfilm reels.”
Today, the collection is housed in museum-like grandeur, and to peruse the many photographs and titles is like taking a wonderful, nostalgic journey back through time. Anyone who is a fan of baseball in San Diego needs to check it out!