Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thursday, June 21, 1951

Vancouver ... 44 18 .710 —
Spokane ..... 40 23 .635 4½
Salem ....... 31 31 .500 13
Wenatchee ... 20 34 .460 15
Tri-City .... 27 33 .450 16
Tacoma ...... 27 36 .429 17½
Yakima ...... 24 35 .407 18½
Victoria .... 25 37 .403 19

TACOMA, June 22 [Tri-City Herald]—Jack Brewer, the only Tri-City Brave pitcher who was able to tame the Tacoma Tigers during that four-game series there, will take his good right arm to the mound tonight at Sanders Field where Tri-City opens a new series with Yakima.
In the last meeting here of the two teams the Braves swept all three games so that, plus the fact Brewer hasn't given up more than two runs in either of his two victories brightens the current dark clouds hovering over the Braves.
There was no silver lining added last night either when Tacoma dropped the Braves with a 6-4 thud to take that series 3-1. The three lost games skidded Tri-City from a trembling third to fifth in the Western International league race.
Cy Greenlaw started on the mound looking for his fifth victory of the season. Instead he wound up with his sixth defeat. Joe Nicholas took over the pitching chores in the sixth stanza and was touched for an insurance run in the eighth after the Tigers had iced the contest in the sixth.
With Tri-City out in front 4-3 Tacoma opened the bottom of their sixth with a double by Merv Dubbers. Sol Israel and John Kovenz followed with singles and Manager Charlie Petersen waved in Joe Nicholas to stem the tide. However, Butch Moran followed with another single to plate the tieing and winning runs for Tacoma.
The Braves went out in front in the second when Clint Cameron and Nick Pesut singled.
Sam Kanelos attempted a sacrifice but Cameron was caught at third. Charlie Petersen's blow down the first base line was errored by Moran and Pesut scored. Greenlaw then singled to score Kanelos.
Tri-City picked up single counters in the fourth and fifth. Pesut slammed a double, his first of two in the game, and Petersen and Michelson followed with singles in the fourth. In the fifth Vic Buccola singled, Cameron drew a free pass and Pesut got his second double. That's how it stood, 4-3 Tri-City, going into the sixth when the Tigers went out in front and stayed there.
Tri-City ............ 020 110 000— 4 11 1
Tacoma ........... 001 202 01x— 6 15 2
Greenlaw, Nicholas (6) and Pesut; Knezovich and Lundberg.

VANCOUVER, June 21—Vsncouver Capilanos protected their league lead Thursday night by edging the second-place Spokane Indians 5-4.
Stay-at-home righthander Sandy Robertson picked up his first win of the year in his second start but almost threw away his own game when he put Edo Vanni on with a two-base error, a wild throw to first on Vanni's ground ball to the box. A walk to Mel Wasley followed by long successive triples by Jim Wert and Jim Brown pushed across three runs as Manager Bill Schuster started looking around for a relief hurler.
But Robertson settled down from there on in, and aided by some brilliant relief work afield by Bobby McGuire, Ray Tran and Reno Cheso, he settled for a night's work of one earned run.
A big fourth inning sewed it up for the Caps. After John Ritchey's double, Ray Tran looped a single to centre to send in the first Vancouver run. Robertson walked. McGuire got aboard, Tran scored and Robertson moved to third as second baseman Mesner, covering first on an infield grounder, failed to touch McGuire as he crossed the bag.
Spokane manager Alan Strange roared in to protest the decision on this play, after after a lengthy rhubarb, he was bounced by Umpire Muslowski. After Gordie Brunswick flied out, Chuck Abernathy was hit by a pitched ball and Dick Sinovic rifled a single to deep left centre, scoring Robertson and McGuire.
In the payoff seventh, Abernathy singled, Sinovic flied to left, Charlie Mead singled Abernathy to third, and the big sacker romped in with the winning run as catcher Bill Sheets let a low pitch get away and roll to the backstop.
Spokane ...... 013 000 000—4-9-2
Vancouver ... 040 000 01x—5-7-2
Robertson and Ritchey; Bishop, Conant (7) and Sheets.

VICTORIA [Colonist, June 22]—Playing baseball which could hardly be called alert, Victoria Athletics blew scoring chance after scoring chance at Royal Athletic Park last night to drop a 1-0, 10-inning decision to Salem.
It was the fourth straight setback for the A’s in the five-game series and the third time in three nights they have been beaten in extra innings. They leave for Tacoma this morning for a four-game series with the Tigers, return home Monday to stay until July 2 for a five-game series with the Tri-City Braves and Yakima Bears.
Poor base-running, an unfortunate error and lack of clutch hitting cost Jim Hedgecock one of his better-pitched games last night. The veteran southpaw lost it on an unearned run while scattering seven hits effectively.
The A’s, presenting a right-handed batting order with the return of Gene Thompson to centre field and the insertion of Bob White at first base, made 10 hits but three mental blunders on the bags and futility with men in scoring position wasted all of them.
In the ninth, Bob White, who looked good in his first start, led off with a single. Manager Dick Barrett sent in Jim Propst as a pinch runner and he was promptly picked off. Jim Robinson capped the bad evening when he hit a bounding infield single as a tenth-inning pinch-hitter and failed to take his look and missed a chance to get an extra base when the ball caromed off shortstop Glen Tuckett into the outfield.
The winning run was batted in by Manager Hugh Lub, who scored Curt Schmidt from third base with a short single to left field with two out. Schmidt hit a ball into the hole between third base and shorstop and Bob Sturgeon just missed getting with man with a great play. Hal Jackson failed to block the low throw and Schmidt went to second.
Tuckett sacrificed and Jim McKeegan was walked intentionally for the double-play set-up. Hedgecock got pinch-hitter Bill Beard to pop up but Luby, swinging easily, came through.
Sturgeon provided the highlight of the game in the ninth inning when he went to right to come up with Pete Tedeschi’s ground ball and got his man with an amazing underhand toss from the edge of the outfield grass.
Salem ........ 000 000 000 1—1-7-0
Victoria ...... 000 000 000 0—0-10-2
Lew, De George (10), and McKeegan, Beard (10); Hedgecock and Martin.

YAKIMA, June 21—Walt Pocekay, Wenatchee third baseman, set two Western International League records tonight as he assaulted Yakima pitching for seven hits in seven tries as Wenatchee swamped Yakima 20 to 1. Pocekay's seven hits—all singles — made him high man in the 25-hit Wenatchee attack which included a four-for-five evening by Lil Arnerich and a four-for-six slate for Al Treichel, Wenatchee hurler.
The old marks, each held by several players, were six hits and five singles in one game.
Wenatchee ..... 119 001 251—20-25-1
Yakima ........... 001 000 000— 1- 5-3
Treichel and Neal, Roberson (7); Del Sarto, Ericson (3), Powell (3), Brenner, (9) and Brenner, Gaviglio (9)

Spokane Releases Young Prospect
SPOKANE, June 22 — The Spokane Indians have given 18-year, old Negro infielder Bobby Reynolds an outright release, club owner Roy Hotchkiss said today.
Reynolds, a sensation during spring practice, was released from the El Centro, Calif. baseball club which he joined after a stint with the Indians.
Reynolds was released on instructions from Spokane after he got only two hits and made five errors in six games with the El Centro team.
“We still feel he is a good prospect,” Hotchkiss said. “We gave him his release as the only alternative to bringing him back to Spokane when we already had a full roster.”

Hafey Will Return Says Chiefs Head
WENATCHEE, June 22 — Mayor Arthur Pohlman, president of the Western International league Wenatchee Chiefs, said today outfielder Will Hafey probably will rejoin the team this week.
Hafey, who was leading the league in home runs with nine, and has a .299 batting average and 39 runs batted in during 43 games with the Chiefs, left Saturday to return to his home in Oakland, Calif. There has been no word from him since, Pohlman said.
The former Oakland Acorn outfielder told club officials he was not dissatisfied here but his wife wanted him to quit baseball and return to Oakland.
WILfan note: A later story from the 22nd revealed Hafey was returning “next Tuesday.”

Vics May Fold, Tacoma for Sale, Salem
Needs More Paying Fans in WIL League

By the Associated Press
Victoria has eight days to start making money or else.
Tacoma is ready to sell out.
Salem's 832 local stockholders are hoping that warm weather will grease the turnstiles enough this season to assure baseball in the Oregon capital again in 1952.
That's the report from three of the eight Western International league baseball clubs.
Gloomiest report comes from Victoria.
Reg Patterson, the business manager, says:
“We have until July 1 to decide whether we will be able to continue operations.”
If the answer comes in the negative, the club has three alternatives: Fold up, sell to another outfit that will keep the team in Victoria, or sell the franchise and players to another city. The tail-end Vics just aren't drawing from Victoria's 115,000 population. A fine, balmy afternoon Wednesday drew only an estimated 300 aficionados.
At Tacoma, business manager Frank Gillihan said Ted Dudley, a Tacoma real estate man, has authority to see the Tacoma Tigers. This brought up the response: “To whom?”
Robert Abel, W.I.L. president, says he understands Dudley is the agent of William Starr, president of the San Diego club in the Pacific Coast league. The Tigers formerly were a San Diego farm team.
Abel said “it's news to me” when informed of a report that the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce had been offered the club for $25,000.
This also brough harrumphs from Elliott Metcalf, manager of the Tacoma Athletic commission. Metcalf said Starr a year ago asked $125,000 for the franchise and players and got no takers. The T.A.C. had been interested in a slightly more than tepid way until getting a look at the Starr price tag.
At Salem, the home stockholders noted with satisfaction Thursday that attendance totals 33,200 an average of about 1,240 a game.
At that rate the year's attendance could—if it continues—hit the 100,000 mark, which would be considerably healthier than the 54,000 drawn last tear when the Team was owned by the Portland Beavers of the Coast league.
The club directors are warning Salemites that that the town won't have baseball next year unless attendance from now on averages 1,800 per game. They expect warm summer nights to bring about the increase.

Higher Costs, Small Crowds Hit WIL; Victoria Badly Off
Baseball League To Meet Sunday On New Crisis
By DON CARLSON [Vancouver Province, June 22, 1951]
Western International League directors will meet in Spokane Sunday to discuss the dilemma of its dropping baseball attendance and increasing costs.
The league, however, will not vote to increase admission prices, this year at least.
That was the word here today from Robert P. Brown, general manager of the Vancouver entry in the league, the Capilanos.
Brown made his disclosure following reports from Tacoma and Victoria that those clubs are in dire straits.
Reg. Patterson, Victoria general manager, said Thursday night his club had until June 1 to decide its fate. The last-place Victoria Athletics are drawing badly.
In Tacoma, traditionally a hot-and-cold baseball club, business manager Frank Gillihan said Ted Dudley, a Tacoma businessman, has been authorized to sell the Tacoma club.
Brown said the league directors Sunday would be faced with the necessity of cutting operating costs, which, he said, are up 20 percent over last year.
First approach to reductions, he said, would probably come in the form of slashing transportation costs.
“By re-scheduling and lengthening each series, we could save 25 percent in travelling costs,” he said. This would mean each visiting team would spend longer time in each city it visits, probably a week instead of the current three or four days.
“But we won’t boost prices,” said Brown. “I’m dead against that now, with money being so tight. We want out ball fans to keep coming on the same prices they are paying now.”
Brown listed some reasons for increased costs. A baseball uniform which used to cost $40-odd, now costs $70, he said.
Baseballs have increased in price $6 a dozen on the Caps’ contract price. Bats are up to $4.15 each from $3-odd.
Brown said he discounted reports from Victoria that the club will fold. He said, however, the Athletics’ dilemma was not unexpected. That cost had insisted on keeping its total home gate this year and not share it with visitors.
Other clubs in the league shrae 60-40, with the home club taking the 60 percent. This gives travelling clubs a piece of the gate in cities drawing well.

By Jim Tang [Colonist, June 22, 1951]
Fans who cheered Dick Barrett Tuesday night when the manager of the Victoria Athletics grabbed the microphone during the presentation to Lilio Marcucci and made an impromptu defense of himself and his ball club have apparently had change of heart.
I have been stopped by at least a dozen paying customers who were there and asked what I thought of it. “What do you think about that guy telling us off?” was the way the question was usually worked. Several fans were willing to be quoted, “It was out of order,” one said. “I think he was definitely wrong in making that kind of speech,” was the verdict of another. Several comments would require considerable editing.
The writer agrees that Barrett’s so-called “fighting” talk was out of order. As a player, few have more competitive spirit than the freshman Victoria manager, but as a manager he should never take an aggressive attitude towards the paying customers because they had the temerity to boo what they reasonably thought was baseball.
Barrett was spent 27 years in baseball—all of them as a player—and he brought this up in his talk Tuesday. It is admitted that this is an impressive period of time, a long enough time for anyone to learn not pay any attention to them. The same fans who are booing are only looking for a chance to cheer. It is Barrett’s job to give them something to cheer about, not to bawl them out because they are justifiably disgruntled.
It is true that there was little Barrett could do about his pitching selection. Hedgecock and Osborn had already been used in the game, Propst had pitched nine innings the night before, Tierney was due for the second game of the doubleheader and Smith due Wednesday. That left Brkich and a fellow named Barrett. Here is the crux of the matter.
Barrett was hired as a playing manager and is being paid as one. He undertook to get into shape and take his regular turn but he has made no real effort to do so. With the season almost half over, he has started four games, relieved in none. His last mound appearance was on May 30.
While no one argues with his claim that he has had a sore arm which he didn’t mention earlier, there is no record that he has done any running to try and get into condition in the interim. In shape, he could have saves as many as a dozen games the A’s have lost in the last inning or two.
Not only would this have improved his record as a manager and fulfilled his commitment but it would have put the A’s well into the first division and helped attendance. The club needs more fans. It will never get them if those who are sticking are going to get a talking to from the manager because they voiced their sentiments.
Random Harvest
Mario Caravetta brings back word from Vancouver that the Capilano management took a dim view of the sale of John Marshall to the Spokane Indians. However, the Caps had their chance to get Marshall but wouldn’t come close to matching Spokane’s bid. They offered one of their two first-basemen or Bob McLean, the ex-first-baseman who has a sore arm from trying to develop a curve ball, and a small amount of cash. . . . Ken Richardson, who is playing a lot of third base for Spokane and is third is runs batted in with 52, asked for a job with the A’s at spring training and was not signed. What a difference he could have made. The decision was made by Dick Barrett, according to information reaching here.

By DON BECKER, Herald Sports Editor [June 22, 1951]
Any pitcher will tell you that he's a lot more interested In what his earned run average Is than he is in games won and lost. And after what happened to Bob Costello Wednesday night it's easy to understand why. That game is already down in the record books as a 7-3 loss for the bespectacled right hander but not one of the seven runs was charged to him. In other words the pitching wasn't at fault. Had the two errors of the game been turned into outs Tri-City could conceivably have won 3-2. But that's beside the point.
The constant, reshuffling of the batting and playing lineup by Manager Charlie Petersen indicates he is still far from satisfied with the way the Braves have been going. And it's fairly obvious he doesn't intend to keep Ken Michelson in the outfield and it's likewise doubtful if Neil Bryant is going to be reassigned to third, the position be played most of last season. As soon as Buddy Peterson returns to the lineup, he has a bad shoulder now, Sam Kanelos will undoubtedly go back to the hot corner.
It's the outfield which is still Petersen's major headache. Bill Edelstein, while magnificent at covering the ground, hasn't been able to produce a sufficient, number of base hits. But as far as that goes the team as a while is not generating the plate power they did last season, The .300 or better hitters are all confined to the infield, which is just the opposite of a normal situation.
Salem too is bucking the bugaboo of losing their baseball team. The club directors of the locally owned team have set a minimum of 1800 per game for the balance of the season in order to hold the club. Should Salem be able to hit that minimum figure they would have a season total of nearly 100,000. One factor which will help there is that the Senators are reasonably close to the top. And of course their going rate of $1 for a grandstand seat will up their take 10 percent more than what the Braves would get on the same number of tickets.
Lately there hasn't been any word about Wenatchee's plight but it's an almost sure bet that they are in the same boat with Salem and Tri-City. Yakima isn't making any money either but their problem is different in that in Junior Mercy they have a millionaire who can afford to drop a few bucks. The situation varies in Salem and Wenatchee also in that those teams are locally owned by a great number of fans. In the case of Salem 832 citizens have a stake in the pot.
But those aren't the only clubs feeling the pinch. Victoria is another that is hanging on the ropes. With a poor team the fans have been practically ignoring the A's this season. The situation has reached the point where Reg. Patterson, manager has said that unless there is 100 percent attendance at Victoria this month the club might not be able to finish out the season.
The A's dropped $22,000 last season. To try and offset that they persuaded the league moguls to a home and home arrangement whereby they would keep all their home receipts and receive nothing on the road. Had they developed a top team the idea would have been sound. As it is now the scheme turned out to be rather unsatisfactory. Victoria has only seven more home games in June so an answer from that quarter shouldn't be alone in coming.
Under the commitments made to raise the money to build Sanders Field the dollar amount of building bonds which must be retired yearly, plus the taxes and overhead expense, has been more than the revenue produced to meet all these items.
As nearly as can be determined the outstanding debts of the association, which owns the park, total about $10,000. That is all that stands in the path of clearing the air and putting baseball here on a sound footing. How to raise that much money will be the main topic of discussion when the stockholders meet Monday night. But it would be unfortunate if after investing so much that such a small amount could upset the apple cart.
While lagging attendance can be blamed for part of the league's current difficulties not all of it can be laid at that door. The clubs themselves are to blame for part of it. In their eagerness to provide winning teams they have offered big bonuses to sign some players and unquestionably the monthly payrolls in some cases must be stupendous. One club starts it so the next tries to match the situation and like a snowball it keeps getting bigger and bigger until the snowball rolls right over them.
That isn't responsible for the situation here of course where the club owners and park owners are completely divorced in their operations. Yet you can be sure the club isn't making any money . . . at least not yet they aren't.
Somewhat belatedly we learn that Bill Edelstein wasn't pulled from the lineup because of his hitting slump but instead because of an injury to his hand suffered in the last game in Wenatchee. The ligaments and muscles were torn loose and Bill is toting around a heavy cast. He'll be out for about a week the front office said. Buddy Peterson too is going to be out for a while with his dislocated shoulder. Fortunately the Braves are meeting Yakima and if they stagger through the series, injured as they are, with even a .500 percentage, they'll be doing all that can be expected of them.

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