Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 1951

Vancouver ... 59 30 .663 —
Spokane ..... 56 31 .666 2
Salem ....... 43 44 .494 15
Wenatchee ... 43 44 .494 15
Tri-City .... 40 48 .455 18½
Victoria .... 38 52 .422 21½
Tacoma ...... 37 51 .420 21½
Yakima ...... 34 51 .400 23

VANCOUVER [Erwin Swangard, Sun, July 16]—Friday night Vancouver Capilanos defeated Wenatchee Chiefs 4-3 in the first of their three-game Western International Baseball League series at Little Mountain Stadium.
But Manager Bill Schuster was far from elated. Said he: “I am worried, not about my pitching, but about our hitting. The boys aren’t connecting in the clutch.”
Today, Schuster the Rooster could file application for membership in the Vancouver branch of the fortune tellers’ union and would be accepted without hestitation.
He qualified by what happened Saturday.
The boys didn’t hit in the clutch and as a result Wenatchee Chiefs humbled the league-leaders twice in a row before leaving town.
The two Capilanos pitchers didn’t do too badly. Pete Hernandez, who entered the first game of the night doubleheader with a 9-1 standing, allowed Chiefs only seven hits but veteran Charlie Gassaway, the ex-Pacific Coast League lefthander, held Caps to six.
The second game, a tumultuous affair, saw Bob Snyder take the mound with an 18-2 record, but Chiefs paid little heed to reputation.
It was in this contest that the boys just didn’t hit in the clutch. So much so that Caps left 14 runners stranded on the bases which helped Chiefs’ lefthander Tom Breisinger no little.
Most of the drama of the second game was packed into the last inning which Caps entered with a 4-3 lead.
Manager Rupert Thompson, whose age hovers around the 40 mark, substituted himself for Breisinger at bat to open the inning and promptly slashed a double down the first base line.
He went to third on Ross McCormack’s single. Buddy Hjelmaa, next man up, drove the ball fairly deep to Gordon Brunswick in right field. Thompson tagged up and ambled for home. However, he had not figured on Brunswick’s terrific throwing arm. Rupert was out at the plate for a double play on a close decision.
It sparked Wenatchee’s third rhubarb of the game. Plate umpire Art Jacobs finally tossed first base coach Walt Raimondi and shortstop Hjelmaa out of the game.
Mr. Snyder let go with a sign of relief and started pitching to Walt Pocekay. He had one strike on him when Walt belted the next pitch over the right-field fence for a two-run homer.
It was sort of an anti-climax when Schuster also was tossed out by Jacobs in the last half of the ninth for overdoing his oratory, directed toward the plate from his third base coaching box.
First Game
Wenatchee ....... 100 300 0—4 7 1
Vancouver ........ 020 000 0—2 6 1
Gassaway and Neal; Hernandez and Ritchey.
Second Game
Wenatchee ....... 000 201 002—5 12 4
Vancouver ........ 010 030 000—4 9 1
Breisinger, Kanshin (9) and Neal; Snyder and Ritchey.

YAKIMA, July 14—The Yakima Bears made it three straight over the Tri-City Braves Saturday night taking an 8 to 4 decision in a Western International league baseball game.
Tri-City ....... 003 001 101—6 13 2
Yakima ........ 006 010 01x—8 17 4
Berriesford, Stone (8) and Pesut; Barrett, Del Sarto (7) and Tiesiera.

VICTORIA [Colonist, July 15]—Victoria Athletics protected their slim sixth-place margin in the W.I.L. yesterday by breaking even with Tacoma Tigers at Royal Athletic Park.
The A’s ended a four-game losing streak in the afternoon with a 9-4 triumph behind John Tierney, became with 6-1 victims of Hal Dodeward, former Washington State University star who scored his first W.I.L. win in the mazda fixture.
A lengthy, sometimes dull encounter, the afternoon game was featured, if that is the word, by lackadaisical and often amazing officiating of Umpires Valencourt and Rose, who went through the motions as if both were wishing it was their day off.
With the officials doing nothing to speed up pay, the game dragged on for over two and a half hours, brightened only by a spectacular catch by Bill White, two fine fielding plays by Don Pries and Gene Thompson and an argument over an umpire’s decision which probably cost Tacoma the verdict.
After a bad first-inning call on a force play at second has taken the A’s out of what might have been a big rally, several glaring ball-and-strike decisions and another verdict on the bases which cost Mike Catron a hit, the lid blew off for a moment in the fourth inning.
Butch Moran, Tacoma first baseman, came to the plate with runners on first and second. He forced the runner at the middle station, then ran down to second as the A’s made a pick-off attempt at third only to be sent back to first when it was ruled time had been called. His protest resulted in an early shower.
It changed the complexion of the game. The Tigers, ahead 3-2 at the time, not only lost their most reliable hitter but the necessary defensive changes saw Catcher Marion Watson drop a fly ball in eight field for the two runs which put the A’s ahead to stay in their half of the fourth.
To cap it all, with one out and the bases loaded in the Tacoma seventh, the infield fly rule was invoked just before left-fielder Thompson made the catch of Sol Israel’s blooper into his territory.
Tierney, on the hook throughout but hard to land, left 14 Tigers stranded. White’s catch almost certainly saved the situation in the seventh. The score was 8-3, the bags were loaded and two were out when John Kovenz hit one far into right field. White made a leaping catch against the fence, saving three certain runs and keeping the tying run from getting into scoring position.
It was different in the finale. Dodeward, who reportedly was paid $8,000 to sign a Cleveland contract last season, managed to get the A’s out when they threatened. The Tigers couldn’t do much with Ron Smith but made their seven hits at the right time, leaving only two runners stranded. Moran, who homered for the first run and doubled in what proved to be the winner, was the offensive star.
Wenatchee Chiefs move in tomorrow for four games. Jim Propst will do the tossing for the A’s, will probably draw Al Treichel as his opponent.
First Game
Tacoma ....... 011 100 100—4 9 4
Victoria ....... 110 321 01x—9 12 1
Miller, Mishasek (5), Schulte (5) and Lundberg; Tierney and Thrasher.
Second Game
Tacoma ....... 010 203 000—6 7 0
Victoria ....... 000 010 000—1 6 1
Dodeward and Watson; Smith and Martin.

SPOKANE, July 14—Salem Senators administered 15-3 drubbing to the Spokane Indians Saturday night in a Western International League game here.
Salem ...... 403 322 010—15 13 1
Spokane ... 201 000 000—3 11 4
DeGeorge and McKeegan; Wyatt, Palm (3) and Sheets.

Spokane's Rockey Has Elbow Injury
SPOKANE, July 14—The Spokane Indians pitching staff suffered another blow Saturday with the news that Ward Rockey, who pitched the team to a shutout victory over Salem Friday night, has an elbow injury.
His physician said it will be at least a month before Rockey can picth again for the Western International League team.
Ace hurler Jim Holder who has pitched the Indians to nine consecutive victories was put out of action July 2 also with an elbow injury. However, he is expected to be ready for service in another week.

By Jim Tang [Colonist, July 15, 1951]
For six W.I.L. clubs the best that has happened this season was the decision to hold a Shaughnessy playoff and the later decision not to split the season. With the campaign nearly two-thirds completed, Wenatchee, Salem, Tri-City, Victoria, Tacoma and Yakima have only the hope of catching one of the two first-division spots open to spur attendance and keep the season from becoming a complete flop.
The runaway race for first place between Vancouver and Spokane just points out again the fallacy of trying to rate the clubs in training camp. While both the Capilanos and Indians have solid—and well led—clubs, no close baseball student would have conceded them the big margin they now hold over the six trailers. In fact, the Indians didn’t look like pennant material in the season’s inaugural. However, they added Steve Mesner, Ken Richardson stood up better than expected, they plugged a gap by the purchase of catcher Bill Sheets and the young pitchers came through. Most of the time, there is only the difference of a player or two between a solid contender and an also ran.
This is particularly true of Victoria’s Athletics, who could have made the player moves in training camp, which would have given us a strong contender if not a pennant winner and are now looking for the necessary help to sneak into the first division.
One doesn’t have to be a close follower of the club to realize just where it would be now with Richardson and Mesner in the infield and John Ritchey, leading the league with a near-.400 average, behind the plate. The A’s had first chance at all three, turned them all down. The man who made the decision in each case, according to the front office, was Dick Barrett, who had played with and against them and felt they wouldn’t help. Ritchey is probably the outstanding player at Vancouver, Mesner and Richardson made Spokane.
All this only points out that it is wise for a club operating semi-independently to make its player moves early. While the trio in question would represent quite an outlay for salaries, it probably wouldn’t among to a much as it costs late in the season to grab at anything in a trial-and-error method to find a player who might help. This the A’s will have to do in another season—or else get a working agreement that means more. Portland was unable to supply help when it was needed, [but] asked for and received Victoria’s best when it ran into trouble.
Random Harvest
The A’s may have a chance to pick up an ex-major league pitcher who should help and business-manager Reg Patterson is keeping his fingers crossed, meanwhile hoping that shortstop Jimmy Clark and pitcher Bill Carr will be here by tomorrow . . . Ed Murphy, the Spokane speedster, is almost a cinch to break his own W.I.L. record of 65 stolen bases. With over 70 games left, Murphy has pilfered 52 bases.

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