WIL Head Sees New Records
By ASSOCIATED PRESS [April 19, 1951]
Six Western International league baseball teams start playing for keeps tomorrow as the curtain goes up for the 1951 season.
Addition of several colorful managers, plus expected completion of a new baseball park at Vancouver, B. C., are expected to set new attendance records.
League President Robert Abel, who claims the loop is the best Class B circuit in the nation, made the new records prediction.
Thousands are expected to observe their late and lamented grandmother's funeral by attending games in Wenatchee, Spokane and Salem.
Tacoma fans must wait for Saturday, when the Tigers battle with last season's champion, Yakima, in an afternoon tilt.
Vancouver plays at Wenatchee, Victoria at Spokane and Tri-City goes to Salem for Friday's openers.
Rotund Kewpie Dick Barrett and Alan Strange will be opposing managers in the game at Spokane. It will be Barrett's first crack at being a club pilot, Strange and Barrett were teammates on the Seattle squad that were nabbing pennants back in the early '40's.
Another ex-Rainier, Bill (the rooster) Schuster will lead the Vancouver Capilanos against Tommy Thompson's Wenatchee aggregation. Schuster was an excellent — if exuberant — shortstop on various Class AAA and Major league teams.
Hugh Luby, another former Coast league player, is the new Salem manager. He'll be masterminding it against Charlie Petersen of the Tri-City Braves.
Marse Jim Brillheart and the Tacoma Tigers should be able to give Yakima a tough tussel in their opener. Tacoma lost out to Yakima in the last day of the season in 1950, splitting with
Vancouver while the Eastern Washington team swept a double header from Victoria.
The league openers will be observed by the usual ceremonies, with at least one city, Spokane, giving the proceedings a new gimmick. Anyone who speaks longer than 60 seconds will be drowned out by band music.
League President To Attend Salem Contest
SALEM, Ore., April 19 (Special)— Lou McCollum will be handed the baseball in the Tri-City Braves clubhouse here Friday night by Manager Charlie Petersen. So for the second time in as many years the veteran right hander will open the season for the Braves, Last year the 21-13 game pitcher started the season against Vancouver.
Robert B. Abel, president of the Western International league, will be on hand to witness the opener. Local sports writers are predicting a sellout crowd even though as of today Salem's pilot, Hugh Luby, had not named his starting pitcher. Bill Bevens, ex-Yankee ace, who was going the full route against Redding on Monday until he was hit by a thrown ball, appeared to be the most likely to take the hill. The appearance of Bevens would do much to help the gate, which is another reason he may get the nod.
A special celebration to welcome the Senators home from their spring training grind took place at noon today in the Crystal Gardens. Luby, one of the main guests of honor, outlined the club's roster and was enthuastic about the outlook for the coming season. One of the highlights was a rendition of "Casey At The Bat" by Bill Robertson, Oregon State college trainer. Robertson is famous for his delivery of the baseball poem.
The Tri-City club have scheduled a brief workout at Waters Park for tonight, mainly to get used to the lights here and to unlimber their muscles with batting practice. Although shortstop Buddy Peterson has been favoring a pulled leg muscle the Braves' pilot indicated he would probably start Peterson. However, with reserve infielder Artie Wilson on hand to take up the slack Peterson may not finish if his leg starts bothering him.
The Braves probable batting lineup and in starting order for the Friday night game is Al Spaeter, 2b; Vic Buccola, 1b; Buddy Peterson, ss; Clint Cameron, rf; Neil Bryant, 3b; Nick Pesut, c; Reuben Navarro, lf; Bill Edelstein, cf; and McCollum, pitching.
Dick Faber, Mel Wasley and Pete Tedeschi will tend the Salem pastures, with George McDonald on first, Manager Hugh Luby at second, Richie Meyers at shortstop and Johnny Hack at third. Bill Beard is the Senators first-string backstop with Jim McKeegan as alternate.