official mascot is the 49er, in honor of the school's founding in 1949
and the fact that the city of Long Beach, like many other cities in California,
prospered due to the 1850 gold rush. In athletics, not only is "49er"
used as the mascot of Long Beach State Athletics, but we also use the term "The
Beach." The reason for the secondary nicknames is because, Long Beach State
is the only school in the country with a "Beach" in its name. Since
1989, the baseball team has developed its nickname, "The Dirtbags,"
thanks to their gritty play and determination.
The Athletics Department prefers to be known as Long Beach State or LBSU.
WHAT IS A DIRTBAG?
The unofficial nickname of Long Beach State 49er baseball team refers
to the program's style of play and success against higher profile programs.
The moniker was first coined for Coach Snow's first team in 1989 which
was comprised of nearly all new players. Playing without a home field (LBCC,
Cerritos JC and Blair Field), and practicing at a local all-dirt Pony Field,
that team won its first 18 games and advanced to the 49ers first College World
Series appearance. Then-infield coach Dave Malpass would take his infielders
to the all-dirt field for their rigorous workout. The infielders would return
to the regular practice field after their sessions covered in dirt. Thus the
name "Dirtbags" was born. The name resurfaced again in 1993 when
the 12-12 49ers rallied to win 34 of their next 41 games and finish three outs
short of the National Championship game. The "Dirtbags" were once
again a fan favorite at the 1998 College World Series as the country received
a lesson in "Dirtbag" baseball.
Originally, the school colors were brown and gold, however, in 1989
football coach George Allen decided to change his football uniforms. Instead
of using brown, he substituted black and the colors black and gold were adopted.
The colors officially changed in the spring of 2000, passed by a student referendum.
Swimming and water polo teams have used black and gold for much longer, since
it's a bit difficult to find brown swim caps in Southern California.
Even though its official name is California State University, Long
Beach, in athletics the university is known as Long Beach State. The name of
the University has changed several times over its short history. The school
was originally known as Los Angeles-Orange County State College, but was soon
known as Long Beach State College as the campus moved to its current location
from the old Anaheim Street building. In the mid-60's. the name officially changed
again to California State College at Long Beach, then in the 70's it changed
again to its current official name, California State University, Long Beach.
Long Beach State (without the University) is the official
name for reference to the athletics teams, though in the past, "Cal State
Long Beach" and "Long Beach" have been used commonly in the media.
Abbreviations have included LBSC, CSCLB, CSULB and, currently, LBSU (and not
(from Desert Niner's Website)
"Prospectin' Pete", is the official mascot, though he didn't get a
name until a student vote was taken sometime in the late 80's or early 90's.
Before then, he was simply known as the "49er Man". He used to have
a co-mascot, a donkey named "Nugget". During the 1990's there was
a giant black & white Hacky-Sack sorta thing that said "go beach"
on it, and in the mid-80's there was a girl wearing some boots, a Madonna-style
faux-cowboy hat, and a giant foam rubber "49", at the football games...
probably not members of the mascot hall of fame.
THE FIGHT SONG
(from "The Nugget" 1954-55 student handbook)
THE FIGHTING FORTY-NINERS
We're the Forty-Niners
Our Colors Way Up High Will Shine
Down the Field, We'll Never Yield
Like Men of '49 We'll Fight On
We're the Forty-Niners
Our Foe Will Know He's In a Fight
And Just Like the Days of Old...
We'll Fight, Brown and Gold!
The current Fight Song music is derived from the Trio
to the World War One-era march, "Solid Men to the Front", by John
Alma Mater Hail to Thee
And We Pledge Our Loyalty
To the College of Our Choice
Thee We Serve With Hand and Voice
Now and in the Future Bright
Citadel of Truth and Right
Honor, Glory and Renown
All are Thine Dear Gold and Brown
49er men's sports were established in the fall of 1950, and joined
the California Collegiate Athletic Association, or CCAA, in 1956-57. In 1969,
Long Beach State became one of the charter members of the Pacific Coast Athletic
Association, or PCAA, and remain in that conference, now known as the Big West,
to this day. The baseball team played in the Southern California Baseball Association
(SCBA) from 1977-85.
Women's teams have played in the ECCSCC (Extramural Coordinating
Council of Southern California Colleges) from 1965-71, the SCWIAC (Southern
California Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Conference) from 1971-76, the WCAA
(Western Collegiate Athletic Association) from 1976-85, and the PCAA/Big West
Men's Water Polo, Men's Volleyball and Indoor
Track and Field, sports not sponsored by the Big West, play in the Mountain
Pacific Sports Federation, or MPSF.
OTHER UNIQUE TRADITIONS
The Big Brown Music Machine, or BBMM, is a world-class band (which
returns annually for an alumni concert during basketball season). According
to its website, there were no
slackers, and no blasting: Good sound, clean execution, and great intonation
made our signature sound, unmatched before or since by any other band on the
Another tradition involves fans such to "remain
standing until the basketball teams score it's first basket". It was a
big tradition back when both basketball teams played at the Goldmine in the
1980's and 1990's, and continues in part today at The Walter Pyramid.
During the early 1970's, the team's signature song was
from the musical, "Jesus Christ, Superstar." The song was played when
Ed Ratleff, and others, entered the Gold Mine or the Long Beach Arena during
warmups. It also played when the team broke following timeouts and then at the
conclusion of the game. Most of the time the song was played by the student
band, complete with drums and electric guitar.