Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 1951

Vancouver ... 43 18 .705 —
Spokane ..... 40 22 .645 3½
Salem ....... 30 31 .492 13
Tri-City .... 27 32 .458 15
Wenatchee ... 28 34 .452 15½
Tacoma ...... 26 36 .419 17½
Yakima ...... 24 34 .414 17½
Victoria .... 25 36 .410 18

VICTORIA, B. C., June 20—Salem Senators scored twice in the 11th inning Wednesday to defeat Victoria Athletics 4-2 in a Western International league afternoon game.
The final game of the current series will be played Thursday night.
Held to one hit by Ron Smith in the first five innings, the Senators took a 2-0 lead in the sixth on Richie Myers' homer after Dick Faber had singled with two out. The A's got one run back in the seventh on Marv Diercks' double, a single by Hal Jackson and Bob Sturgeon's long fly. Milt Martin led off with a homer in the eighth to tie the count.
Singles by Faber, Myers and Pete Tedeschi and Dick Bartle's fly gave the Senators their runs in the 11th.
- - - -
VICTORIA [Colonist, June 21]—Victoria Athletics have made it close for third straight game yesterday afternoon, but the result was the same. Dick Barrett’s embattled warriors forced Salmon Senators to go 11 innings, then took the short end of a 4-2 count.
It was the third straight win for the Solons in the five-game series, which concludes tonight with a single game. It boasted Salem’s third-place lead to two games and dropped the A’s into the W.I.L. basement.
Ron Smith, who previously had shut out the Senators, 3-0, in a nine-inning affair and then lost that 23-innings, 1-0 epic, was tough again yesterday for Hugh Luby’s men. But his teammates could do little with methodical Ray McNulty and continued to waste their better-pitched games with lack of any authority at the plate.
Smith made only one mistake, a home-run pitch to Ritchie Myers in the sixth inning which gave Salem a 2-0 lead. The A’s scored in the seventh on a double by Marv Diercks and tied it in [the] eighth when Milt Martin slapped one out of the park. They managed four of their nine hits in the last three innings but couldn’t get anyone past second base.
Successive singles by Dick Faber, Myers and Pete Tedeschi and an outfield fly sent in the winning run.
It was the first game for some time for the A’s without Lilio Marcucci, their big siege gun. Although the batting order looked weaker without the catcher, getting his chance to Portland, Milt Martin did his part by getting a single in addition to his circuit blow.
Jim Hedgecock will try to salvage the final game tonight and will be opposed by Ludwig Lew, another southpaw. The A’s leave for Tacoma and a four-game series to morrow morning, return home Monday for five-game series with Tri-City and Yakima.
Salem ...... 000 002 000 02—4 8 0
Victoria .... 000 000 110 00—2 9 2
McNulty and Beard; Smith and Martin.

VANCOUVER [Daily Province, June 21]—Wild Bill Schuster’s galloping Capilanos go gunning for a four-and-a-half game edge atop the WIL circuit tonight before hitting the road for Chapter Two of the current “Bust Spokane Or Else” series.
The Cap’s current version of Hopalong Cassidy, still sidelined with a gammy leg, will send out local hurler Sandy Robertson in a try at picking up valuable ground lost Wednesday night as the Indians clobbered the Caps 7-1 for their first win of the current stand.
Big Chief for Alan Strange’s runnerup Spokane crew last night out at Cap Stadium was ace hurler Jim Holder, a husky right-hander who took the bloom out of the Vancouver bats in masterful fashion to notch his eighth win against no defeats.
Jim kept nine Cap hits well spaced and was never in serious trouble. Reno Cheso got to him for the only Vancouver extra base hit, a double to start the home half of the eighth.
The Indians on the other hand showed little respect for the right-hand slants of George Nicholas, belting Nick for 12 solid hits including a long triple to the right field wall by Vanni in the ninth.
The game was won and lost in the second inning as Spokane jumped on Nicholas for three successive singles that all paid off when Ray Tran booted Ed Murphy’s hard groundball to deep short. Three runs, two unearned, poured across, and that was it.
The handcuffed Caps averted a shutout in the seventh inning as Charlie Mead opened with a walk. Cheso followed with the second of his three hits, a single., and Mead scored as Ritchie belted a long basehit to left centre
Making a strong comeback after their two initial horrendous games against the Caps in the current series, the Spokane club fielded flawlessly and just breezed in behind Holder. The loss was Nicholas’ fifth against nine wins.
After tonight’s game, the Caps move to Spokane for four games, then return to their new stadium for a four-game stand against Yakima.
Spokane ....... 031 000 021—7 12 0
Vancouver .... 000 000 100—1 9 1
Holder and Sheets; Nicholas and Ritchey.

YAKIMA, June 20—Bill Brenner, Yakima catcher, went on a rampage Wednesday night, driving in seven runs as Yakima defeated Wenatchee 9 to 1.
Brenner drove in three runs in the third inning with a single with the bases loaded. He scored on Gene Gaviglio's single. In the seventh, after successive singles by Earl Richmond, Mike Baxes and Jerry Zuvela, Brenner poled a home run to drive in four more runs.
Wenatchee ... 000 000 100—1 9 2
Yakima ......... 004 000 41x—9 14 0
Tost, Kanshin (8) and Neal; Savarese and Brenner.

TACOMA, June 21 (Special to the Herald)—The Tri-City Braves lost a 7-3 Western International league baseball game to Tacoma here last night. But what happened to Brave hurler Bob Costello, who was charged with the defeat, shouldn't happen to a dog. Every run that the Tigers scored was unearned. The only consolation left the quick right hander was that they wouldn't be charged against his earned run average.
Tri-City's favorite trick of winning a ball game after two outs was used to good advantage by Tacoma. Costello had two out in the bottom of the eighth inning with the Braves out m front 3-2 when Vic Buccola booted what should have been the third out.
From there things went rapidly from bad to disasterous. Tacoma followed with three singles and then Harry Scherting drove a Costello offering deep into center field which got past Charlie Petersen. The ball didn't stop rolling until he hit the fence at the 425 foot marker. By the time it was relayed to the infield the bases were as clean as a bald headed man's pate.
Tacoma jumped out in front in the first panel by scoring twice. Tri-City notched single runs in the third and sixth to tie it up and Nick Pesut made it 3-2 for the Braves when he scored from third on a passed ball. That's how it stood until the eighth.
Neir Bryant's single drove in the Brave run in the third while Sam Kanelos, playing shortstop with Buddy Peterson out, accounted for the sixth inning tally.
The two teams wound up their series tonight with Tri-City needing a victory to get an even split. On Friday the Braves open four-game series at Sanders Field against Yakima.
Tri-City ....... 001 001 100—3 8 2
Tacoma ...... 200 000 05x—7 9 0
Costello and Pesut; Kipp, Mishasek (9) and Watson.

Athletics Struggle to Finish Season; Deserted by Fans
By JIM TANG [Victoria Colonist, June 21, 1951]
No longer is it a question of whether or not the Victoria Athletics are going to win. The question now is whether or not they are going to be able to continue to play.
Financial problems of the Victoria Baseball and Athletic Co., Ltd. have now reached the stage where there is no speculation over its ability to operate the W.I.L. franchise next season. The chances now are no more than even that it will be able to finish out the season.
“We have until July 1 to decide whether or not we will be able to continue operating the club,” business manager Reg Patterson said last night. “If the fans do not come out to support us, we won’t be able to go on.”
The July 1 date is no ultimatum. With 11 home games during the balance of the month, the situation will be clarified somewhat by that time—or the lack of it.
If yesterday afternoon’s game with the Salem Senators is any criterion, things indeed look black. Playing in perfect baseball weather, the teams attracted few than 300 paying customers and there were few who took advantage of ladies’ day, which admitted feminine fans without so much as a service charge.
Plight of the Victoria-owned baseball company is a common one in the smaller minor leagues, where the backing of a team in higher classification is necessary to ensure continued operation. There has to be someone who can take care of the deficits which are—more often than not—certain if the club in question fails to win.
Although there was a $9,000 loss in 1949, the last year of the working agreement with the New York Yankees, the trouble started last season when the club went all out to get a winner and an independent operators. Money was spent lavishly by Class “B” standards, to procure the necessary playing talent. It was only proven once again that it is almost impossible to “buy” a champion in baseball. The veterans were a dismal failure and the club finished fifth, $22,000 in the red.
In an all-out effort to get back on its financial feet, the Victoria club last winter boasted three major accomplishments: (1) It persuaded the other seven league clubs to forego the usual 60/40 split of gate receipts; (2) it entered into a working agreement with the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League and (3) it signed as playing-manager Dick Barrett. In the face of results to date, only the Portland agreement had helped.
Barrett, expected to be a great drawing card as an active performer, has done little pitching and has been unable to get his club over .500. The attendance degrees has been big enough that there has been no advantage to the club in keeping all its gate receipts. The A’s are probably drawing bigger crowds on the road than they are at home.
Every effort will be made by the Victoria Baseball and Athletic Co. Ltd. To complete the season. If this should prove financially impossible, there are three alternatives. The club could fold up, it could be sold to another company that would keep it in Victoria, or the franchise and players could be sold and moved to another town.
The second of these is the most probable. Victoria is potentially an excellent baseball town and its population of 115,000 is large enough to almost ensure that it will somehow remain in the W.I.L.
However, it would almost certainly mean complete loss of all money invested in the club by stockholders. Unable to operate the franchise, the present owners would be in no position to haggle and would have to take what they could get.
The Victoria situation is not much, if any, worse than in six other league cities. Cost of having television in some centers, and many other things have combined to cause a sharp decrease in attendance throughout baseball. The W.I.L. is no exception. Only Vancouver and Spokane, the two leaders, have had a chance to show a profit. Wenatchee is reported heading for a huge deficit and Tacoma, Yakima, Tri-City and Salem are said to have spent more than they have taken in.

By DON BECKER, Herald Sports Editor [from June 21, 1951]
The front office of the Tri-City Braves are apparently interested in perking up the attendance which hasn't been exactly sparkling this year. To date the total number of fans is but a bare thousand or so more than it was last season. And that in the face of all the cold weather the area went through at the start of last season. Instead of the original target of 160,000, a closer guess would be 100,000.
Their latest wrinkle is a pie eating contest to be staged at the park on July 6. In addition to the pie he eats, the winner will collect $25 with another $25 being divvied up among the next three.
Baseball promotions can help a lagging gate and our only wonder is that they waited so long to try any . . . aside from the two clowns. Bill Veeck has proven, both at Milwaukee and Cleveland, that fans will turn out if there's a little something extra. It isn't the regulars, they come anyhow, but you do get others who might be turned into consistent fans.
With the team bouncing in and out of the first division promotions can do much. Ladies' Night's have been strong pullers in other parks, just as an example of what we're driving at. Still coming are Connell, Prosser, Pasco, Kennewick and Richland nights. And these of course will help too, but it's going to take real solid promotions to hit that 100,000 mark.
One reason we're bringing this subject up is because it may mean the difference between having professional baseball here and not having it. The Tri-City Athletic association, which owns the park and in turn leases it to the club, is in trouble . . . financially. To date the revenue just hasn't kept step with the expenses. The stockholders are having a meeting on June 25 to see what can be done about it.
Unless some satisfactory solution is found there could, and probably will be, drastic changes made. It could even go so far that professional baseball would no longer stay here. If the association decides to quit and give the park to the bond holders, and they in turn decide they don't want to toss any more into the well. . . that could be the end of it.
On the one hand you might say what are they going to do with an idle park, but then again where are they going to get the money to put into it each year. Usually all common ventures of this kind wind up with a few eventually owning the works. But this situation has developed more rapidly than most.
One out would be to have the city of Kennewick take over the field. They already are collecting the four percent amusement tax, and that, plus the five percent from the overall gross from, the club would enable them to operate it, if not at a profit, at least not a loss.
Baseball has done much to help the Tri-Cities. Aside from filling a very definite recreational gap it has also served to publicize the area, and economically has bettered everyone. All of the Braves live here and spend most of their money here. The traveling teams stay at the Desert Inn in Richland and those players too sprinkle some of their money around.
It's difficult to reduce a sport like baseball to bare financial terms. Wenatchee found that out when their franchise moved here. To recoup they quickly bought up the Bremerton team. Other cities such as Lewiston and Bellingham, which were at one time within this circuit, have tried hard since to reenter.
Actually there wouldn't be too much of a problem in moving this franchise from here either. There are two Canadian cities champing at the bit for a WIL team. And if they got one, the other would almost automatically follow. There are at least two other teams in this league which would go on the block if a reasonable price were bid, and one of them could be the answer should the Braves be forced out.
Buddy Peterson broke back into the lineup very quickly after his suspension just as we had expected . . . Meanwhile Bill Edelstein is out . . . supposedly riding the bench due to his slump at the plate.
Sam Kanelos has seemingly cinched the third base post for the Braves. He's hitting .270, respectable for that position, and his fielding is good. One thing to remember, the fielder who doesn't have any errors isn't going after the tough ones either.

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