Cradle of Champions

Cover of Cradle of Champions by John Horgan featuring images of athletes within a map of San Mateo County

On Friday, August 4 at 1 p.m., the Courthouse Docket continues as author John Horgan discusses his new book, Cradle of Champions: A Selected History of San Mateo County Sports. A book signing follows the presentation.

Copies of the book are available in the Museum Store.

Cradle of Champions focuses on significant events, important figures and outstanding achievements in the history of San Mateo County athletics. It features a treasure trove of information in its 161 pages: 75 stories, 130 photos, 35 lists, 500 names, 40,000-plus words. Those pages embrace copious statistics and data points involving a wide range of home-grown stars, including: Tom Brady, Tom Martinez, Wendy Brown, Bill Walsh, Mimi Arnold, John Naber, Pat Winslow Connolly, Dick Vermeil, Barry Bonds, Ann Kiyomura, Lynn Swann, Erik Van Dillen and a host of other luminaries.

Edited and published by the Historical Association, the book serves as a complement to the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame, on exhibit at the History Museum. The Hall of Fame made its debut in 1989 and now embraces 300 high-achieving men and women.

John Horgan holding a microphone

John Horgan is a career journalist who has spent 60 years writing about the county’s athletes, coaches, teams, administrators and others associated with competitive sports on the Peninsula and beyond. Horgan began his career as a writer in 1963 when he became a prep sports stringer at the Burlingame Advance Star. He was appointed sports editor of the San Mateo Times in 1989. After the paper was sold in 1996, he continued to write for the San Mateo County Times and the San Jose Mercury News. His stories and columns have also appeared in the NFL’s and NBA’s magazines, Sports Illustrated, the San Francisco Examiner and the San Mateo Daily Journal.

John Horgan, courtesy Pete Harames.

Previously on the Courthouse Docket

On May 20, 2023, author Gene Slater presented Freedom to Discriminate: How Realtors Conspired to Segregate Housing and Divide America.

If you have questions about previous Courthouse Dockets, please email

Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation logo

The Courthouse Docket is a series of presentations held in the History Museum’s Historic Courtroom A. The Courthouse Docket Series is sponsored by Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation.