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Dennis Snelling

Dennis Snelling is a three-time finalist for the Casey Award for Best Baseball Book, and was a Seymour Medal Finalist in 2015. He has spoken before the Commonwealth Club, at the Mechanics Institute in San Francisco, on various radio programs and podcasts, and before numerous baseball groups on various topics. 

He has been a football and basketball public address announcer for his local high school since age thirteen, recently having completed his forty-sixth year in the role. He is the Chief Business Official for a school district in California, and a consultant on business matters to other school districts in the state. He is also a Certified Fraud Examiner.

Snelling was senior writer for Helmar Baseball & Art Magazine, and is a columnist for Minor Trips Digest and reviews sports books for the New York Journal of Books.

His books include Lefty O’Doul: baseball’s Forgotten Ambassador (University of Nebraska Press, 2017); Johnny Evers: A Baseball Life (McFarland & Company, 2014); The Greatest Minor League (McFarland & Company, 2011); The Pacific Coast League: A Statistical History (McFarland & Company, 1995), and A Glimpse of Fame (McFarland & Company, 1993).

A baseball fan since age eight, Snelling is proud to have caught a foul ball off the bat of Padres infielder Fernando Gonzalez at San Diego Stadium in 1978. (Interestingly, his college roommate at the time also caught a foul ball off the bat of the same player at Candlestick Park the next year, and they were sitting next to each other both times.)

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Pacific Coast League

Minor League Baseball History

Dead Ball Era

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Lefty O'Doul:

Baseball's Forgotten Ambassador

From San Francisco to the Ginza in Tokyo, Lefty O’Doul relates the untold story of one of baseball’s greatest hitters, most colorful characters, and the unofficial father of professional baseball in Japan. 


Lefty O’Doul (1897–1969) began his career on the sandlots of San Francisco and was drafted by the Yankees as a pitcher. Although an arm injury and his refusal to give up the mound clouded his first four years, he converted into an outfielder. After four Minor League seasons he returned to the Major Leagues to become one of the game’s most prolific power hitters, retiring with the fourth-highest lifetime batting average in Major League history. A self-taught “scientific” hitter, O’Doul then became the game’s preeminent hitting instructor, counting Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams as his top disciples. 


In 1931 O’Doul traveled to Japan with an All-Star team and later convinced Babe Ruth to headline a 1934 tour. By helping to establish the professional game in Japan, he paved the way for Hideo Nomo, Ichiro Suzuki, and Hideki Matsui to play in the American Major Leagues. O’Doul’s finest moment came in 1949, when General Douglas MacArthur asked him to bring a baseball team to Japan, a tour that MacArthur later praised as one of the greatest diplomatic efforts in U.S. history.

O’Doul became one of the most successful managers in the Pacific Coast League and was instrumental in spreading baseball’s growth and popularity in Japan. He is still beloved in Japan, where in 2002 he was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.


Johnny Evers: A Baseball Life

For more than a century Johnny Evers has been conjoined with Chicago Cubs teammates Frank Chance and Joe Tinker, thanks to eight lines of verse by a New York columnist. Caricatured as a scrawny, sour man who couldn't hit and who owed his fame to that poem, in truth he was the heartbeat of one of the greatest teams of the 20th century and the fiercest competitor this side of Ty Cobb

Evers was at the center of one of baseball's greatest controversies, a chance event that sealed his stardom and stole a pennant from John McGraw and the New York Giants in 1908. Six years later, following reversals and tragedies that resulted in a nervous breakdown, he made a comeback with the Boston Braves and led that team to the most improbable of championships.
Spanning the time from his birth in Troy, New York, to his death less than a year after his election to the Hall of Fame, this is the biography of a man who literally wrote the book about playing second base.


A Glimpse of Fame

Ron Necciai once struck out 27 hitters in a nine-inning minor league game. Floyd Giebell beat Bob Feller to clinch the 1940 American League pennant for the Detroit Tigers. John Paciorek had three hits in three at bats in his big league debut--and never played another game in the majors. These three players and twelve other talented men (Bill Koski, Ed Sanicki, Joe Stanka, Bill Rohr, Al Autry, Joe Brovia, John Leovich, Bert Shepard, Doug Clarey, Marshall Mauldin, Bernie Williams, and Frank Leja) reached the top of their profession only to sink back into obscurity. Through interviews with all the players and extensive research, their stories are told. Major and minor league year-by-year statistics for each player are included.


The Greatest Minor League:

A History of the Pacfic Coast League, 1903-1957


In 1903, a small league in California defied Organized Baseball by adding teams in Portland and Seattle to become the strongest minor league of the twentieth century. Calling itself the Pacific Coast League, this outlaw association frequently outdrew its major league counterparts and continued to challenge the authority of Organized Baseball until the majors expanded into California in 1958.


The Pacific Coast League introduced the world to Joe, Vince and Dom DiMaggio, Paul and Lloyd Waner, Ted Williams, Tony Lazzeri, Lefty O'Doul, Mickey Cochrane, Bobby Doerr, and many other baseball stars, all of whom originally signed with PCL teams. This thorough history of the Pacific Coast League chronicles its foremost personalities, governance, and contentious relationship with the majors, proving that the history of the game involves far more than the happenings in the American and National leagues.


The Pacific Coast League:

A Statistical History 1903-1957

The Pacific Coast League enjoyed a reputation as one of the premier minor leagues in organized baseball. Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Lefty Gomez, the Waner brothers and Ernie Lombardi were among the future Hall of Famers who played in its cozy parks. Legendary minor leaguers such as Smead Jolley, Buzz Arlett, Lefty O'Doul and Frank Shellenback made their marks in the PCL. This reference work is a season-by-season guide to the glory days of the PCL. It includes a listing of starters and primary reserves for all teams from 1903 through 1957, as well as playoff results, managerial records, and statistical leaders for each season. Complete PCL records for over 500 of the circuit's most notable players are also provided.

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