Thursday, November 29, 2007

Monday, July 23, 1951

               W  L  PCT GB
Vancouver ... 63 34 .649 —
Spokane ..... 63 34 .649 —
Salem ....... 49 47 .510 13½
Wenatchee ... 46 50 .479 16½
Tri-City .... 43 54 .443 20
Victoria .... 43 55 .439 20½
Yakima ...... 41 56 .423 22
Tacoma ...... 39 57 .406 23½

VICTORIA, July 24—Victoria Athletics whitewashed Vancouver 2-0 Monday night to force the Capilanos to share their Western International league baseball lead with Spokane Indians.
Jim Propst got the shutout, besting Bob Snyder who was going for his 20th win.
Athletics, who threw three pitchers into the battle, got their runs in a fifth-inning flurry.
Marv Diercks, who got a life when plate umpire Red Eiler apparantly missed a third strike on a 2-2 count, opened by singling. Bob Sturgeon missed one bunt attempt, and fouled off the next pitch on a try for a run-and-hit play. Anticipating the same play, Snyder tried to make a pitch out, but Sturgeon reached across the plate and poked a blooper into right field.
Coming in fast, Charlie Mead let the ball get by, Diercks racing all the way in and Sturgeon winding up on third base. Jim Clark dropped a single in left field to score his manager with the other run.
Propst pulled out of a tough spot in the seventh when he opened by hitting Reno Cheso and Chuck Abernathy followed with a single. The little southpaw got his man at third on Jim Moore’s bunt, got Snyder to fly out and Bob McGuire to ground out.
However, Propst ran into his usual eighth-inning troubles. With one out, Gordie Brunswick and Mead walked around a double by Dick Sinovic to load the bags. Then Sturgeon pulled one of out his hat. He brought in Bill Osborn to pitch to Cheso, who fouled out to Don Pries.
With the lefthanded Abernathy up next, Sturgeon replaced Osborn with southpaw Jim Hedgecock, who got Abernathy to pop up to Clark, then sailed through the ninth inning, despite allowing the tying runs to get on base.
Capilanos got eight hits, only one less than Victoria, but sloppy playing ruined their hopes of keeping an exclusive hold on the WIL lead. Vancouver had a monopoly on first place since the start of the season.
Vancouver ..... 000 000 000—0-8-3
Victoria ......... 000 020 000—2-9 0
Snyder and Cheso; Propst, Osborn (8), Hedgecock (8) and Martin.

Cap Catcher Holds Pace In W.I.L
TACOMA, July 24—For the fifth straight week, Vancouver's John Ritchey remains the pace-setter in the Western International league batting race, it was revealed in figurges released today from the office of Robert B. Abel, W-I president.
Ritchey's average fell off three points to .377 during a week in which he collected only three hits in 13 times at bat, but most of his rivals slipped more sharply, with the result that he held a 24-point lead over the runner-up, teammate Dick Sinovic, who climbed five points to .353.
Sinovic retained his runs-batted-in leadership with a season's total of 80, Butch Moran of Tacoma is the runner-up with 74, while Reno Cheso of Vancouver was 67 for third place.
Will Haley, Wenatchee outfielder, clouted four homers during the week to increase his league-leading total to 15. Next in line are Vic Buccola of Tri-City with nine and Dick Faber of Salem and Jerry Zuvela of Yakima with eight apiece.
The leaders:
                      G  AB  H RBI HR Ave.
Ritchey, Van ....... 90 292 110 50 6 .377
Sinovic, Van ....... 95 371 131 80 5 .353
Neal, Wen .......... 83 303 106 45 4 .350
Peterson, T-C ...... 83 307 103 65 4 .336
Moran, Tac ......... 96 383 128 74 3 .334
Richardson, Spok ... 81 279  93 66 7 .333
Baxes, Yak ......... 97 337 117 44 3 .328
Mesner, Spok ....... 86 333 105 63 3 .325
Pries, Vic ......... 97 370 120 44 3 .324

By DON BECKER, Herald Sports Editor [from July 24, 1951]
Now even Sanders Field has turned against the Tri-City Braves. It used to be that they could return home after a bad road trip and be almost certain of getting In some solid licks at the opposition while they were bandaging their wounds. But those pesky Salem Senators ended all that by trouncing our Tribe 3-1 after taking three straight over in Oregon.
Arriving, tonight for a aeries of three are the Indians from Spokane. In their previous trip here they took three of the four games home. But tonight is also the game the Braves are supposed to win. That is if you believe in their current habit of winning every fourth one. Should they get by Spokane tonight it might be a good omen for the future too. Certainly the tide which has flowed so relentlessly over them lately is bound to ebb one of these nights. We've a feeling this is it.
Well it certainly looks as though Wenatchee did hit the skids when they lost Catcher Len Neal. They took an awful pasting from Yaklma, so bad in fact it lifted the Bears right off the cellar floor and let Tacoma slide in. And, just as predicted Victoria's acquisition of two new players gave them such a good shot in the arm they halted the league leading Vancouver Capllanos twice on Saturday. We'd also like to predict at this point that the Caps' are now hitting their long awaited slump but we've waited for that to happen too long now. So long in fact that either way would no longer be a surprise.
When Buddy Peterson slammed that bases loaded home run Friday night it was the second of the year here. . . but the first for the Braves . . . Bob Costello and Dick Stone are now the only hurlers left who have won more than they have lost . . . Tri-City completed their regular game number 100 Sunday night . . . and that century mark is the same one all the players are shooting at, hoping to drive in that many runs before the season ends.
As of July 4 here's how the attendance looked throughout the WIL. You'll note Trl-City's is roughly 3,000 less at that point than in 1950. With only two more weekend stands at home the total for the year will be about 10,000 less than last season.
1951 1950
Vancouver ... 84,134 Vancouver ... 51,244
Spokane ..... 75,095 Spokane ..... 52,242
Salem ....... 52,464 Salem ....... 37,158
Victoria .... 39,308 Victoria .... 63,930
Wenatchee ... 37,017 Wenatchee ... 56,083
Tri-City .... 34,432 Tri-City .... 39,173
Yakima ...... 25,918 Yakima ...... 60,146
Tacoma ...... 23,790 Tacoma ...... 35,754
Total .......374,221 Total ....... 39,000 [sic]

Thanks to Jim Tang of the Victoria Colonist here are some interesting figures which would tend to support the theory that the baseball now in use is deader than it has been in the past. In 1948 the league had 520 circuit blows; 666 in 1949 and 429 in 1950. Yet at the present pace the total this season will be miserly 323. Tang's research also brought out that there are fewer extra basehits in 1951 which would also tend to support the dead ball theory.
It isn't the pitching because the average number of hits per game thus far is 19.17, third high over a four-year span. Runs scored also compared favorably with other seasons. Tang also points out that there are more low-score games this year than in the past. (As witness the 4-1, 3-2 and 2-1 here last weekend).
Now we know that the ball is dead . . . but how are we going to prove it? Got any ideas, if so we'll give them a whirl and let you know.
P.S. Note also only 429 last year when the league changed to the ball they are now using.

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