Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 1951

Vancouver ... 60 31 .659 —
Spokane ..... 59 31 .656 ½
Salem ....... 44 46 .489 15½
Wenatchee ... 43 46 .483 16
Tri-City .... 42 49 .467 18
Victoria .... 40 52 .438 20½
Tacoma ...... 38 52 .422 21½
Yakima ...... 35 54 .393 24

VANCOUVER, July 17—The Vancouver Caps who have led the league almost from the first day, bowed in eleven innings to Tacoma by a 7 to 5 score.
Tacoma bobbled three times in the second inning to give Vancouver a 4-0 lead but the Caps returned the favor in the 11th after the Tigers had evened the count with a three-run rally in the ninth.
Jim Moore dropped Jose Bache's fly ball in the 11th. Merv Dubbers sacrificed and Gerry Clark, John Kovenz and Mike Catron singled to drive in two runs.
- - - - -
VANCOUVER [Erwin Swangard, Vancouver Sun, July 18]—There is a “for sale” on the Tacoma Tigers of the Western International Baseball League.
After watching the Tigers perform for eight innings against the Vancouver Capilanos at Little Mountain Stadium even the most tolerant fan couldn’t blame Tacoma for trying to get rid of their club.
But in the ninth inning Tigers suddenly turned Tigers.
First they blasted veteran Bud Beasley off the mound to come from behind a 5-2 deficit to tie the score.
As if overawed by their own ninth-inning effort, they took a breather in the tenth and turned Tigers once again in the eleventh inning to score two runs off Don Tisnerat.
The defeat was a nasty blow to the Capilanos. Spokane Indians downed the Yakima Bears 6-2 in 14 innings at Spokane and as a result now trail the Vancouver club by only half a game.
Manager Bill Schuster of the Caps, appalled by his club’s recent inability to hit, really was in the dumps last night.
In addition, of course, Schuster was once again tossed out of a ball game, this time by plate umpire Charlie Rose after a bitter argument ovfer a run which, in the end, cost the Caps the game.
It was a freak play. Saul Israel opened the fourth inning with a single. John Kovenz struck out. Mike Catron walked. Butch Moran grounded to Beasley and was thrown out at first as Israel went to third and Catron to second. Vince DiMaggio grounded to Gordon Brunswick near third. As Brunswick fielded the ball, Catron ran low underneath Gordon and lifted him off the ground. Brunswick held the ball and Catron became the third out.
Meanwhile, Israel had fled across home plate. Rose ordered the run counted, claiming Catron had been tagged on a second try. Of course, there was a big rhubarb and exit Schuster, which is rapidly becoming par for the course.
Caps had rolled into a four-run lead into the second inning. Reno Cheso was hit on the arm by Gary Clark’s pitch. Then followed successive errors by Kovenz (1) and Merv Dubbers (2) and finally a two-run single by Gordon Brunswick.
Cheso was unable to continue in the game and was replaced at second by Jimmy Moore.
Moore’s error in the eleventh—he dropped a routine pop-up from Jose Bache—allowed Tigers to score two unearned runs.
The once mighty Cap bats were once more strangely silent as young Gary Clarke was really tough in the pinches.
Best catch of the night was made by Vince DiMaggio, Tigers’ left fielder, who picked Dick Sinovic’s hard smash into left field out of the air after a long run toward the foul line. So hard hit was the ball that it popped out of Vince’s glove but he held it on the second try.
Caps last night released Bill Whyte, the native relief left-hander, as George Nicholas returned to the active list.
The two teams clash again tonight with Bob Snyder scheduled to pitch.
Tacoma ....... 000 101 003 02—7-12-3
Vancouver .... 040 100 000 00—5- 8-2
Clark and Lundberg; Beasley, Tisnerat (9) and Rltchey.

YAKIMA, July 17—It took Spokane 14 innings to defeat Yakima 6 to 2 in a Western International league game Tuesday night.
Spokane took a 2-0 lead in the first inning but were blanked for 12 successive innings by Ted Savarese before breaking through.
Ed Murphy was hit by a pitched ball and Edo Vanni and Steve Mesner singled. Ken Richardson wound it up with a triple.
Spokane .... 200 000 000 000 04—6-14-1
Yakima ...... 000 000 200 000 00—2- 8-1
Conant and Sheets; Savarese and Tiesiera.

SALEM, July 18 —(Special to the Herald)— The Salem Senators tightened their third place grip in the Western International league last night with a 4-0 blanking of the Tri-City Braves. It was the first of a three-game series.
Bob Costello, the Tri-City's winningest pitcher, fell victim of a four-run uprising by the Solons in the eighth inning. Both Costello and Sal DeGeorge of Salem were hooked up in a tight mound duel until that eighth.
With one out Sam Kanelos, the Braves third baseman dropped a fly ball which should have put Costello well out in front. But the error proved costly. Before the fire-balling right hander could put out the fire started by the miscue four Senators had scored.
Lou McCollum (9-9) was expected to start for Tri-City tonight.
Meanwhile the front office of the Braves said today that Ken Michelson had been lifted from the disabled list while submariner Joe Nicholas, who bruised his heel in Spokane, went on the list.
Tri-City ..... 000 000 000—0 7 1
Salem ........ 000 000 04x—4 8 0
Costello and Pesut; De George and McKeegan.

VICTORIA [Daily Colonist, July 18]—Wenatchee Chiefs are finding out that whatever Victoria does on the road is no indication what it will do once it gets back into the confines of Royal Athletic Park.
Athletics continued their supremacy over the Chiefs in Victoria by downing them 3-1, last night. The win gives them a 5-1 edge over the Chiefs at home and an 8-5 margin for the season.
It was Victoria’s second win in as many nights over the Wenatchee club and gives them a 2-0 lead in the current four-game series. The pair of victories are a soothing salve for the three defeats administered by the Chiefs at Wenatchee last week.
Jim Hedgecock set the Chiefs down with six hits to even his record at nine wins and nine defeats. He struck out six, did not issue a walk, but his two batters. In addition, he paced the Victoria attack with a double and single in four trips.
Mike Kanshin was the unfortunate Wenatchee hurler. He pitched sound ball but was the victim of lax fielding by his teammates. He was taken out for a pinch-hitter in the eighth.
An error by shortstop Buddy Hjelmaa on Don Pries’ grounder after two were out allowed Victoria to score the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the fifth. Hal Jackson, Gene Thompson and Milt Martin followed Pries with successive singles.
Athletics scored an insurance run in the seventh when they loaded the bases on a single and two walks and with one away, Martin hot an easy bouncer to second baseman Walt Raimondi, who bobbled the ball long enough to miss the double play and allow the run to score.
Wenatchee took the lead in the first inning when Walt Pocekay singled after two were out and scored when Jim Marshall doubled to right centre field.
The Chiefs were guilty of some dubious strategy. In the sixth, seventh and ninth innings, their first batter singled and they failed to employ the bunt. On all three occasions the batter was left at the initial sack.
Hedgecock appeared to improve as the game wore on. He struck out six batters during the last five innings, retiring the last two men in the ninth by the three-strike method.
Pocekay was the only Wenatchee player to give Hedgecock continuous trouble. The third baseman collected three singles in four trips to pick up half his team’s base blows.
Jim Clark, the A’s new shortstop, will take over for Bill Dunn at the leadoff spot tonight. Clark will give Victoria another left-hander in the line-up.
Bill Osborn is scheduled to hurl for the Athletics while Walt Raimondi is the likely choice for Wenatchee.
Wenatchee .... 106 000 000—1-6-0
Victoria ......... 002 001 000—3-7-0
Kanshin, Tost (8) and Neal; Hedgecock and Martin.

TACOMA, Wash., June 18 — Jim Holder, Spokane righthander, remained idle for the third straight week because of a shoulder injury, but never-the-less maintained his firm grip on first place In the Western International league pitching race today.
Statistics from league president Robert Abel showed that Holder had a record of 9 wins and no losses.
In games through Sunday, Holder lengthened his advantage when Bob Snyder and Pete Hernandez, both Vancouver, were defeated by the Wenatchee Chiefs during the weekend.
Snyder is second with an 18-3 record and Hernandez is third with a 9-2 record.
Tom Breisinger, Wenatchee, remains the strikeout leader with 118 while John Marshall of Spokane posesses a like figure in bases on balls.
Holder, Spok ...... 48 72 9 0 1.000
Snyder, Van ....... 74 60 18 3 .857
Hernandez, Van .... 37 56 9 2 .818
Tisnerat, Van ..... 34 50 8 2 .759
Costello, T-C ..... 44 55 8 3 .727
Raimondi, Wen ..... 38 52 5 2 .714
Rockey, Spok ...... 51 58 8 4 .667
Barrett, Vic-Yak .. 26 31 4 2 .667
Bevens, Sal ....... 79 58 13 7 .650
Bishop, Spok ...... 45 64 11 6 .647

Tacoma Gets First Chance At Franchise
TACOMA, July 17—A group of Tacoma citizens is trying to raise $25,000 to buy the Tacoma Tigers of the Western International Baseball League. As far as current management is concerned, that group will have first call.
Otherwise, the franchise will be sold to Calgary.
That was the word late Tuesday night from business manager Frank Gillihan of the Tigers upon his return from Calgary where he negotiated sale of the franchise with Sam Timmins, manager of Buffalo Park.
Gillihan said if the Tigers go to Calgary, the team will probably be known as the Buffaloes or 99ers, all depending who buys them.
He appeared confident a deal with Calgary can be culminated should the Tacoma citizen’s attempt fall through.

With JACK DE LONG from July 18, 1951
Monday night’s WIL game at Cap Stadium would have been a good game to watch only you had to watch far too long.
A nine-innings baseball game should never last two hours and 45 minutes. Caps didn’t have to take their last legal turn at the plate.
Baseball is supposed to be one game that speeds up when the weather gets hot. Monday night’s game made you think Vancouver’s thermometers were haywire.
Players and officials moved as if they weren’t thawed out.
The responsibility for speeding up the game rests finally with the umpires although team manager and coaches should help to keep the players hustling.
Tough on Paying Patrons
Whe fans travel for miles by trolley and a afoot to Little Mountain, they are entitled ton be on their way home long before 11:15 p.m.
Occasionally, a long-drawn out game can’t be helped. Sometimes the batters go hit-happy and it takes hours for pitchers to retire 27 men.
But it was no batting spree that prolonged Monday’s game. Tacoma hitters slapped out only eight safeties. The winning Caps had seven hits.
It was simply a case of players and officials taking it slow and far too easy. Just because the new stadium is such a posh place is no reason for staying there all night. Most of the fans are expected at work in the morning.

Ritchey Enjoys Baseball With Caps
By DAN EKMAN [Vancouver Sun, July 18, 1951]
Since 1947, when Jackie Robinson became the first Negro to break into organized baseball, the treatment of colored players has generally been pictured at one of two extremes—outright persecution or effusive welcome.
Actually, believes John Ritchey, the true picture is a blend of those two extreme shadings. The Negro catcher of the Vancouver Capilanos has run up against slights from other players and catcalls from the stands; he has also been embarrassed by overdone exhibitions of “tolerance.” But the intelligent majority have judged him entirely on his merits—as long as he goes well, he’ll be a hero, but if he hits a slump, he’ll be a bum. In the rough-and-tumble etiquette of baseball ‘twas ever thus.
Right now, of course, Johnny is strictly a hero by virtue of both his batting and of his defensive skill. His .376 average is tops in the Western International League, and his quietly competent work behind the plate has students of the game vainly searching for a flaw.
The Capilanos and their fans are happy with Ritchey, and certainly the reverse is true. “I’ve never had so much fun in my life,” he says, “because I asked for plenty of work and I’m getting it here. And it also helps that the Capilanos are the finest bunch of fellows I’ve ever played ball with. They’re completely friendly, and they seem to get a real kick out of the game.”
Baseball hasn’t always been so satisfying, though, for the husky, good-looking native of San Diego. When he broke in with his home city’s Coast League club in 1948, he fretted away most of the season on the bench; his teammates seldom spoke to him, or, for that matter, to each other. The atmosphere changed little in 1949 and 1950, the only real difference last year being that he spent his bench-riding time with Portland, which bought him between seasons.
Oddly enough, the WIL’s leading hitter came within a few days of quitting baseball for keeps this spring. Three years of disappointment in the Coast League, plus the news that he was being sent down to a Class B club, very nearly convinced him to make a lifetime career of the social work which he had studied at San Diego State College.
Portland first assigned him to Victoria, but Ritchey flatly refused to report. He went home to San Diego and had just about decided to start job-hunting when a letter arrived from the Capilanos, informing him he was now Vancouver property. Not without reluctance, he bundled wife Martina and small daughters Johanaa and Tonee into the family car and headed north. He’s never been sorry since.
The 26-year-old (27 on August 5th) is regarded as almost a certain cinch to return to the Coast League, and he thinks he can make the grade this time. The difference between Triple-A and Class B baseball? It’s mostly mental, he believes.
“One thing’s sure, the pitchers don’t throw any harder up there,” he says, “but the players are thinking all the time. You don’t see as many errors.”
Ritchey’s equipment for the jump back includes a five-foot-ten, 170-pound frame which stands up even under the strain of doubleheaders, an ability to hit both curves and fast balls, and hit them to all fields; and a burst of speed you seldom see in a catcher.
On that last point, Ritchey himself is a trifle mystified. “I know catching is supposed to slow you up,” he muses, “but I honestly think I’m getting faster on my feet. It’s a funny thing.”
His stamina may be accounted for by the fact that he adheres strictly to the training rules—he neither drinks or smokes—and also by the fact that he plays as much winter ball as possible. Last year he commuted 700 miles down the Mexican coast each for weekend games. “You don’t get a chance to [half line unreadable] that way,” he laughs.
This season, Ritchey has come to know Bob Snyder, the Caps’ most successful pitcher, really well; but it wasn’t until just last week that they learned the acquaintance might have started years earlier.
“We were comparing notes during one of the long bus hops,” John explains, “and I mentioned that when I was in the service, I once spent 38 days on a troopship between Europe and the Phillipines. Bob sort of did a double take and then started telling me incidents that happened during the voyage.
“Sure enough, he was on the same ship; and like myself, he says that 38-day trip put him off sea travel for life!”

By DON BECKER, Herald Sports Editor [from July 18, 1951]
While the Tri-City Braves have admittedly had their share of problems this year perhaps the biggest has been, and for that matter still is, the lack of a “bench.” You can’t even say “good bench” for the simple truth of the matter is that there just isn’t any. The immediate figure for the number of runners left stranded aren’t on hand but it must be a scandal to the jaybirds. Time and time again the need for a solid pinch-hitter who could also take over in the field has been demonstrated.
Yet the best Charlie Petersen has had to work with are pinch-hitting pitchers. Fortunately in Lou McCollum and Cy Greenlaw Pete has a pretty fair pair of willow wenders. But you can hardly expect them to pinch-hit, play the outfield, and still manage to turn in a creditable mound job.
What is needed is another player like Neil Bryant. Bryant can give you a good infield job. . .and right now he's not “just” an outfielder but a “good” outfielder. If the Braves had even one utility player like that who could go in and rest the others a spell now and then It would help a lot. If you’ll notice the present pennant contenders have those sort of players on hand. Thus they are able to transfer the over-emphasis from pitching and can rely on some extent to the “bench” to help when needed.
If there should be any changes, and there probably will be within the lineup before too long, the possibilities are strong that the trimming will be done to the lopsided pitching staff. It's a case of too many working too little. . .and getting too much.
A sometimes sports columnist for the Spokane Chronicle seems to be greatly alarmed about, of all things . . . the Tri-City Braves. To quote Bob Johnson, “We hear on very good authority that Manager Charlie Petersen’s club is split by internal dissension. Usually when such a charge is made,” Johnson continues, “the front office brass hurriedly denies it to all who will listen. We expect it to be denied this time.” Now, the only time any charge is honored with a denial is when there is some semblance of truth to it. (So don’t hold your breath waiting for a denial to that one Bob.)
Johnson then poses the question that perhaps there’s too much old blood and not enough youngsters on the Braves. Well, if that's the reason the team is fifth then our only comment is why isn’t Spokane down there too. Surely, Mr. Johnson you aren’t under the delusion that Ken Richardson and Steve Mesner are rookies on their way up?
The Spokane writer also avers as how when Buddy Peterson was spiked during the last series there, that he had to hobble off the field by himself until Vic Buccola finally went over and helped him. This, according to Johnson is an indication of the “internal dissension.”
A lot depends on which end of the glass you're looking through. Here's what happened there in the words of the actual people involved. Peterson was attempting a tag out at second and was bowled over. The Spokane player’s spikes ripped Buddy's shoe open but didn't touch his foot. He got up brushed himself off, (meanwhile Charlie Peterson and, Doc Boag were out there with Buddy) and he said he felt okay. It looked that way too . . .until the first pitch when he collapsed. Buddy then left the field, but with plenty of help. That's how Manager Charlie Petersen saw it, as well as others of the team we've talked too. They were at the game. In view of that it might be fair to ask if Mr. Johnson was. Were you there there too Bob?
Who’s doing what to who might be a good question to ask over Salem way right now. When the story broke yesterday that Tacoma and possibly Salem both might drop their WIL franchises in those cities and move to Canada, the report got nothing but a big pooh-pooh from the Solons.
But now Frank Gillihan, Tacoma's general manager, says from Canada he is authorized not only to sell that franchise but Salem’s as well. Someone is way off base. It’s entirely possible that one or two teams of the WIL may move to Edmonton and Calgary . . but it’s going to make for some mighty cold baseball on occasion. Snow in July isn't so rare in those cities that it makes the headlines and Steve Johnson of Connell who used to live there says he's seen the ground covered with snow from July until the following spring.

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