Sunday, September 9, 2007

Former WIL Home Run King Gone in 1951

Reds Ink Warner, Homer Hitter, As New Outfielder
[Modesto Bee, March 19, 1951]
Striving for a new “murderers row,” the Modesto Reds today announced the signing of Jim Warner, an outfielder who led the class B Western International League in home runs in 1949 with 43.
Warner, the third 1951 Reds' veteran, is the first new homer specialist. He probably will fill the centerfield left by Earl Smith, who is now playing in Spring exhibition games with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Dick Wilson and Jess Pike may be with the Reds again but their status still is shrouded by red tape.
Both Move Up
Both were moved up to higher clubs in the Pittsburgh organization at the end of the 1950 campaign, but want to play here and must first obtain their releases. If they are assigned to Modesto, the quota of five vets, or players with three or more, years of experience, will be complete.
Warner was secured at the request of manager Tony Freitas, a Sacramento teammate in 1949. Reds' pitcher Frank Dasso was a 17 game winner the same year of the Solons.
Family Man
Warner, who is married and has a family, is 26. He has played since he was an 18 year old rookie with the Fresno Cardinals in 1942, the year the California League folded because of blackout restrictions.
The six foot 195 pounder bats and throws right and plans to move immediately to Modesto from his San Diego home.
Warner has been one of the leading hitters in the WI since leaving the Solons early in the 1949 season. Playing for Wenatchee, he hit .332 last year, with 131 RBIs and 182 hits, 20 of which were homers.
In 1949 he had topped the league in homers and had a .309 average, with 123 RBIs. Warner had trials with the Solons in 1946, 1947 and 1948, He was in service from 1943 until 1946.
Buys Release
He bought his own release so he could sign as a free agent with the Reds.
“Freitas had recommended Warner to us some time ago,” said Reds' secretary-treasurer Floyd Benson. “But our hands were tied as we had been informed by Bob Clements, Pittsuburgh's Pacific Coast reptresentative, the Pirates would supply us with the rest of our veterans.
“But we put in a couple of calls to Clements and he told us to do as we liked. So we told Tony to go ahead and negotiate if he wanted to.”
The Bucs had been a little unhappy over the Reds putting out big money for Dasso. Warner's salary or bonus for signing was not disclosed.
The outfield addition should give the Reds plenty of their old power. They already have a top notch hurling staff in the making, headed by Freitas and Dasso.
Warner's complete record:
Year Club            League  AB   H Pct.
1942 Fresno ............ CL 265  74 .269
1942 Pocatello ......... PL  56   7 .125
1942 Springfield, Mo. .. WA  22   3 .136
1942 Columbia, Ga. .... SAL 106  30 .283
1946 Sacramento ....... PCL   9   3 .333
1946 Wenatchee ........ WIL 489 140 .292
1947 Sacramento ....... PCL 180  38 .211
1948 Grand Rapids .... CenL 198  56 .283
1948 Sacramento ....... PCL 186  38 .204
1949 Sacramento ....... PCL  33   7 .212
1949 Wenatchee ........ WIL 542 167 .309
1950 Wenatchee ........ WIL 548 182 .332

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