baseball history

One Man’s Search for Baseball’s Underdogs

Of all the casualties of the coronavirus pandemic, the delay of the Major League Baseball season ranks pretty low on the list, closer to the cancellation of Coachella than the shuttering of all public schools. And yet for many people sports would have been the ideal distraction from the stress and uncertainty of the present moment. Alas, baseball is just one of a long list of things we must do without for the foreseeable. But remember, baseball is America’s most written-about sport.

How Did the Axe Cross the Bay? A Ferry Tale

For those who know, the Stanford Axe is more than just a trophy. Awarded to the annual winner of the Stanford­–Cal “Big Game” (full disclosure: I’m a Stanford grad), the Axe represents one of the oldest college rivalries in the country, dating back to 1892. The origins of the Stanford Axe have been told again and again, including the infamous heist of the Axe by Cal students in 1899, and subsequent repossession by Stanford 30 years later.

Yet, some mysteries remain.

From the Archives

Here in the offices of California magazine, we have file cabinets filled with all manner of old photos from campus, even pre-dating the move to Berkeley. Many of the images are somewhat random and lacking anything much in the way of identifying information. Still, it’s fascinating stuff to look through (a bit like rummaging around in your grandparents’ attic), and we thought it only right to share some of it with readers.

So here’s the first installment: The baseball team in 1879.

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