Wenatchee Is Carbon Copy Of '50 Club
(This is one in a series on the prospects of Western International league baseball teams)
By JOHN RICHARDSON
Wenatchee World Sports Writer
WENATCHEE—The 1951 Western International league Wenatchee Chiefs take the field here in the season's opener against the Vancouver Capilanos with a carbon copy of the ball club which finshed fourth last season.
The Chiefs will again feature strong left-handed pitching, a smooth-working infield and a steady batting attack, but one which lacks longball power.
Two stylish Southpaws, Dave Dahle, (13-9) and Tommy Breisinger (14-17) along with big right hander Al Treichel, a 15-game winner in-1950, head up the mound staff.
An adequate defensive infield of Buddy Hjelmaa, a WIL veteran, at second base, shortstop Larry Neal and Walt Pocakey, a 1950 outfielder turned third baseman, has been lined up.
The infield is weak at first base, where player-manager Rupert (Tommy) Thompson will probably open the season. Wenatchee had hoped to come up with Jim Marshall, 18-year-old Oakland Acorn Rookie, at first, but the youngster has been hitting Pacific coast league pitching successfully in the opening weeks of the PCL season. "We still hope to get Marshall," Thompson said, "if his hitting falls off after the Oaks make their first "swing around the PCL circuit."
Jay Ragni, voted the most valuable 1950 member of the Chiefs, may also be optioned out by Oakland again, Thompson added. He led the club at the plate with a .315 average last season.
Two familiar WIL outfielders, Lil Arnerich and Lyle Palmer, are also on hand this season, with Ross McCormack, a 19-year old signed from the Omak, Wash. high school and American Legion baseball ranks, slated to be the third man in the outer garden.
Arnerich was with Wenatchee part of last season and Palmer hit a resounding .388 with the Alberquerque West Texas—New Mexico club in 1950. Both were with Bremerton when that club was in the league in 1948 and Palmer played at Spokane in 1949.
The Chiefs will open the season with Rookie Foster Roberson, sent here by Oakland, behind the plate. The second catcher is Len Neal, a three-year WIL veteran who hit .301 last year.
Club officials hope to better the 1950 season at the gate, when 105,000 fans saw games here, a record for the Chiefs. Wenatchee is one of the smallest cities in Class B baseball, with the latest official census showing a population of 12,965.
The club dropped some $10,000 at the gate last year, the first season of a new locally-owned management. Wenatchee Mayor Arthur H. Pohlman is club president and local businessmen are principal stock holders.