I’ve enjoyed the history of baseball since I was a young boy. My affection for the game’s colorful past somewhat focuses on a particular window in time (1900-1958), as well as a geographical region (San Francisco Bay Area). Picture an era without television, or multi-million dollar contracts. Imagine a game being played on the sandlots of San Francisco after the Great Earthquake of 1906. Can you even comprehend a Winter League in The City. My Grandfather, Gene Camozzi, was born in San Francisco on August 14, 1897. He started playing on the North Beach playgrounds, and soon found himself on the diamond with some pretty fast company. Many of his contemporaries found stardom in the big leagues. While others found success in the Pacific Coast League, Gene became a local fan favorite on the Semipro circuit. Through his journey, I‘ll explore the rich history of baseball on the west coast in Northern California.
Much of my research comes from clippings found in an old baseball scrapbook. These accounts were cherished and have been kept in the family for years. To me it is a game in its self to find and document these games that were important enough for someone to save. Now yellowed with age these artifacts give us insight into what I now call, “the Scrapbook league.”