The California State University, Long Beach baseball program started in 1954 and Dick Nen was their first player to make it to the Major League level.
In 1989 the Long Beach State "49ers" became known as the Long Beach State "Dirtbags." The unofficial nickname refers to the baseball program's "style of play and success against higher profile programs." In 2003 two former Dirtbags made it to the major league level and each has commented about the unusual nickname (which is still regularly used to this date):
"Being a Dirtbag means giving one-hundred percent in everything you do...going all-out on every play, and always putting the team before yourself." - Bobby Crosby
"A Dirtbag is a style of playing the game of baseball. It is the type of player every team needs… Loves to play the game everyday… He maybe does not have all the skills of the greatest player, but his attitude and the way he commits himself to the game is what makes this Dirtbag great. Dealing with adversity is what completes being a Dirtbag. A team player at all times (hardnosed)." - Mike Gallo
Did you know that there are forty-one former Long Beach players who made it to the show? Send corrections or updates to Baseball Almanac.