Vancouver Stalls Reds On Deal For Tony Freitas
By Bernard Rynn
The Vancouver Capilanos of the Western International League are playing a guessing game with the Modesto Reds.
The Canadian club has owned Tony Freitas, the Reds' star hurler last season, for more than a month but refuses to make any commitment concerning his disposition.
Freitas was drafted by Vancouver December 7th, the day after the Reds announced they would give him a contract as manager for 1951.
Up In The Air
“They (Vancouver) really have us up in the air,” said Floyd Benson, Reds' secretary-treasurer.
“We have written them, we have wired them and we have called them long distance but they keep stalling us.
“Their president, R. D. [sic] Brown knows that Freitas will not report but he says he will make decision until next week.
“We are sure we'll get Tony back as it would be a losing proposition for them to keep him. And Freitas does not want to play anywhere except here.
“From what I understand, Vancouver would have made Freitas manager if he would have expressed his desire to stay with them. Alter they learned of the situation they recently secured Bill Schuster as their manager.” Schuster, who formerly played for the Los Angeles and Chicago Cubs, was released by Seattle.
There have been a lot of rumors lately on how they have raised their price on Freitas and how much they want for him.
“Brown has told us he needs players more than money. It is my guess they may stick us for the original draft price of $1,000 plus a player or two.”
—Modesto Bee, Jan. 9, 1951
Deal Is Completed To Make Tony Freitas Pilot Of Reds
At last it is official. Tony Freitas will manage the Modesto Reds during the 1951 season.
Announcement ot the completion of a deal, which came after more than a month of negotiations between the Reds and the Vancouver club of the class B Western International League was made today by Reds' President A. A. (Tony) Cardozo.
The 42 year old Freitas, a 23 game winner as a hurler with the Reds last season, was drafted by Vancouver on December 7th, the day after Modesto had named him manager.
Terms Of Deal
Cardozo said the Reds are to return the $1,000 draft price in addition to a pitcher to replace Tony, either Pete Hernandez or Armand Castro. Since Castro has been inducted into the army, Vancouver's undoubtedly will take Hernandez, a 14 game winner with the Reds last season.
The Modesto prexy said it was only after pressure was exerted from all sides on Vancouver President R. P. Brown that the Reds were able to get Freitas back.
Brown had been “high” on Freitas. The little left hander is well known in baseball circles, having played many, many years for the Sacramento Solons in addition to spending a short time in the major leagues.
Reports were that Vancouver even was willing to make Freitas manager if he would stay. A new stadium recently had been completed in the Canadian city, which has a population of 275,000.
Would Not Report
But realizing that Freitas would not report, as he had so informed the Western International club immediately after he was drafted. Vancouver accepted the deal offered by the Reds.
“In view of the fact Modesto fans want Freitas so badly and since I know Tony to be a fine player and real gentleman, I will not stand in his way since he wants to manage the Reds,” said Brown.
Officials Are Happy
“We are tickled to death to get him back,” said Cardozo. “I know the Modesto fans who saw Tony here last season will be just as happy as we are. I want to thank our board of directors for its efforts in heloing us to return him to Modesto.”
Reds officials and fans alike had been confident Vancouver would release Freitas but became
a little worried when the Capilanos refused for a time even to discuss the matter.
Vancouver was unsuccessful in its attempts to talk Freitas into reporting. Freitas' salary for managing the Reds was not made public, but it is known he will receive a very lucrative contract.
—Modesto Bee, Jan. 15, 1950
WILFan Note: UP story of Jan. 15 says Caps get Hernandez "and a lefthander who will be named during spring practice."