Monday, September 10, 2007

WIL Players Get Shot With Rainiers

Yes, I know Seattle is not in the WIL. But some familiar names from the 1950 Western International League season are here, so I'm posting this.
Ol' Dewey Soriano got around. He went in six months from owning Yakima, to quitting so he could pilot ships, to representing Salem at the Winter meetings to being signed by his old PCL club.
'Kay Byron' is none other than K Chorlton. I've seen several references to 'Byron' so I can only presume while his first name was 'K', his middle name was 'Byron.'
Ford Smith was the first black player signed by the Rainiers.
It's amazing how UP butchered George Vico's name so badly.

Pitching a ? for Rainiers
PALM SPRINGS, Cal., March 22 (UP)—If the pitching holds up, the Seattle Rainiers may make a strong bid in the 1951 Pacific Coast league pennant chase.
That's the considered opinion of Torchy Torrance, vice president of the Rainiers, who has seen a lot of PCL teams come and go.
With the new manager Rogers Hornsby driving the squad through the hot Palm Springs days, Torrance believes the Rainiers will be in tip-top condition for the opening of the season.
“The question is on the mound,” says Torchy. “It will take a lot of pitching to fill the shoes of Jim Wilson.”
Wilson, it will be recalled, was 22 game winner last season and was sold to the Boston Braves. In return, the Rainiers got pitchers Mickey Haefner and Ray Martin and veteran second baseman Emil Verban.
Another mound vet, Charley Schanz. is being counted upon for a lot more help than he gave last year. Vern Kindsfather and Jim Davis are working well on the spring tour and Dewey Soriano is Hornsby's hope for a reliefer. A colored lad, Ford Smith late of the Puerto Rican army, also is making a strong bid for a regular starting assignment.
The infield is full of new faces. Gone from last year's club are Bill Schuster, Tony York and Tod Davis. To fill their shoes are such men as Reno Cheso, former San Francisco Seal; Ellis Clary, from Atlanta of the Southern Association; Alex Barbowski from Toronto of the International league; the veteran Verban and Wes Hamner from San Antonio of the Texas league, They will battle such holdovers as Jackie Albright, Linus Frey, and first baseman Steve Vicco [sic].
The outfield will be good defensively and may carry a fair punch. Returning candidates include Bill Ramsey, Al Lyons and Marv Rackley. Battling them for jobs are Kay Byron, up from Victoria of the WIL; Walt Jundich, former Major league slugger obtained from San Francisco; and Dick Sinovic and Leonard Tran, back from the WIL for another fling.
The catching will be well handled by veteran Bill Salkeld and Ripper Warren. Joe Montalvo, a long-ball hitter purchased from Shreveport of the Texas league, also seeks a regular backstopping berth.
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Negro Hurler Quits Rainiers
PALM SPRINGS, Cal., March 25 (AP)—It appeared certain Sunday that Seattle's first Negro baseball player will not be Ford Smith, righthander from Phoenix, Ariz.
Smith, Negro pitcher who looked good in the second of his two exhibition appearances, left
camp Saturday, presumably to go back to Phoenix. He and the Pacific Coast league club were
not able to agree on contract terms.
Smith turned out with Seattle on a "look" basis. He sought a bonus for signing. Manager Rogers Hornsby and general manager Earl Sheely couldn't see it that way.
Smith won two and lost three last year for Jersey City of the International league before being
stricken with pneumonia. His parting words:
"So long and thanks for everything. Maybe I'll be seeing you."

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