Book Review: “Sacramento Baseball”

A good baseball book has lots of photos. And “Sacramento Baseball” does not hold back. The black and white photos of old minor league teams are what you would hope for and there is a nice history lesson regarding the city’s on-again, off-again relationship with the minor leagues.

William D. McPoil has dug through reams of newspaper clippings, old programs, library archives, and trunks in Sacramento attics to tell the history of the game in the River City going all the way back to 1870.

The book shines when discussing the old Sacramento Solons teams and history.


A significant portion of “Sacramento Baseball” focuses on Japanese-American teams.

Perhaps my favorite part is the section on the Japanese-American teams from the 1920’s-40’s, including teams that played while interned during WWII.

And, it came as a surprise to learn that the Sacramento Solons, long ballyhooed by locals as examples of all that was great about the city in the old days, won just won Pacific Coast League championship.

So, there is certainly something for fans of professional baseball, and those who are unaware of the city’s rich baseball history

And, if you grew up in Sacramento during the 60’s or have lived in the city for several decades, the rest of the book could appeal to you, too. There are little league, high school, softball, city college, and senior league pictures galore, dating back 60 years.¬†And, if you know Norm Blackwell, you’ll love this section, because there are enough pictures of his senior teams to make up its own book.

But, if you’re not from the area, these are the portions of the book that might be a quick read.

Also, a note about the early couple of pages. You can really just skip to the first picture. Trust me on this.

All told, it was an enjoyable look at baseball in one of California’s most “historic” cities.

And…it has lots of pictures.

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