Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Friday, August 31, 1951

Spokane .... 91 46 .664 —
Vancouver .. 90 50 .543 2½
Salem ...... 71 66 .518 20
Wenatchee .. 65 72 .474 26
Victoria ... 61 79 .436 31½
Tacoma ..... 60 79 .432 32
Yakima ..... 59 78 .431 32
Tri-City ... 56 83 .405 36

VICTORIA, Aug. 31—The Spokane Indians have mathematically eliminated Victoria from the first-division of the Western International League, thanks to a 6-2 victory over the Athletics on Friday.
Dick Bishop set the A's down on eight hits. The righthander received a three-run lead from his teammates in the fourth and it was all he needed.
Don Pries and Ben Jeffey picked up five of the Victoria hits. Pries and Jeffey connected for three singles and Jeffey had a triple and a single.
Spokane .... 000 310 020—6 11 3
Victoria ..... 000 001 001—2 8 2
Bishop and Sheets; Hedgecock and Cardinale.

VANCOUVER [Don Carlson, Province, Sept. 1]—Capilano’s bats blasted Salem ace Sal DeGeorge so soundly Friday night that the managers of both clubs were still remarking about the onslaught hours after Vancouver’s 11-0 win.
Right from K. Chorlton’s first-inning homer—he was the first batter to face the Salem righthander who went into the game with one of organized baseball’s lowest earned run averages, about 2.00—until the Brownies had almost batted around off him in the seventh, DeGeorge proved nothing but a cousin to the hit-hungry Brownies.
In the Capilano Stadium press room after, Salem manager Hugh Luby said: “I’ve never seen DeGeorge hit so hard.”
“I don’t think I’ve seem them hit anybody so hard this season,” said Vancouver manager Bill Schuster.
The victory kept the Caps apace with Spokane, who beat Victoria, 6-2.
The Capilano outburst overshadowed Sandy Robertson’s great pitching chore, his fourth win of the season against four defeats. The big righthander held Salem to three hits. He had a one-hitter game into the eighth inning, Bill Spaeter singling in the fourth. Ritchie Myers singled in the eighth and Glen Tuckett in the ninth.
Robertson struck out five. He was in command all the way, and never in trouble.
The other extra-base blows by Vancouver’s murderers’ row went to Dick Sinovic for his triple our of Dick Faber’s glove hard against the centre field wall in the third inning, and doubles by John Ritchey and Chorlton.
Charlie Mead’s bat came to life with a sting, his single in the fifth almost decapitating Dick Bartle on first for Salem. Previously, Mead had lined to Bartle in the first inning, and skied to Glen Stetter against the right field wall in the third.
Caps’ big five-run seventh inning came on walks to Chorlton and Sinovic, singles by Ray Tran, Ritchey, Reno Cheso and Jimmy Moore, and Meyer’ error on Mead’s hopper.
The clubs are scheduled to finish their series with a double-header tonight starting at 7 p.m. Spokane opens here Monday with a game in the afternoon at 2:30 and a night game starting at 8 p.m.
The season ends Tuesday night with a single game, starting at 8 p.m. The Capilano management advanced starting time one-half hour owing to the early darkness.
WILfan note: Not one batter reached third base off Robertson.
Salem ......... 000 000 000—0 3 2
Vancouver .. 302 010 50x—11 12 0
DeGeorge, Monroe (7) and McKeegan; Robertson and Ritchey.

KENNEWICK, Aug. 31— The Wenatchee Chiefs and the Tri-City Braves sprayed 15 extra base hits Friday night as the Chiefs edged Tri-City in a Western International league baseball game.
Buddy Hjelmaa's home run in the eighth with the bases empty chased across Wenatchec's final and winning run. Buddy Peterson homered for the Braves.
Wenatchee ... 420 010 010—8 10 0
Tri-City ........ 004 100 002—7 13 0
Treichel and Roberson; Brewer, Stone (3) and Pesut.

YAKIMA, Aug. 31—Bob Schulte of Tacoma and Manager Bill Brenner of Yakima tied it up in a pitching duel Friday night with Brenner the winner as Yakima scored once in the ninth to down Tacoma 1-0.
Tacoma ... 000 000 000—0 4 0
Yakima .... 000 000 001—1 3 2
Schulte and Lundberg; Brenner and Tiesiera.

Brownies Will Play In ‘All-Star’ Contest
[Vancouver Province, Sept. 1, 1951]
To make up for the fact that there will be no Western International League baseball playoffs this year, Salem Senators have arranged a special series between themselves and a rest-of-the-league all-star side next weekend—and there will be four Capilanos in the all-star lineup.
Four Caps named are Pete Hernandez, Bob Snyder, John Ritchey and Dick Sinovic.
First game will be Saturday; two games Sunday.

Snyder to Strike For Pitching Record
[Vancouver Province, Sept. 1, 1951]
The Capilanos are going to give Bob Snyder a busy weekend, and a chance at the Western International League pitching record. Snyder was nominated by manager Bill Schuster to start tonight’s game against Salem, in the hopes of picking up his 26th win of the season.
This would tie him with the record set in 1949 by Bob Kerrigan of Spokane [sic].
Schuster said Snyder will rest Sunday, then start again against Spokane in the last series of the season, in an effort to get the new record.
Meanwhile, the big discussions around Cap Stadium concerned WIL president Robert Abel’s announcement Friday cancelling the proposed post-season playoff among the top four teams, one of which is Vancouver.
“The players are browned off,” said one play spokesman. “They would have received a week’s extra pay, plus the bonus. Now, all they get is the bonus.”
Another player said: “There are two sides to it. The bonus wouldn’t amount to much. The pool would have been about $3300 to be divided among all the players on four teams, which isn’t a great deal.”

It Beats Me
By Jim Tang [Colonist, Sept. 1, 1951]
Cancelation of the Shaughnessy play-off by the W.I.L. yesterday without any announced good reason and with an injunction from league president Bob Abel to his club owners not to make any statements to the press has left a bad taste. The W.I.L. can justly be accused of misrepresentation and has only itself to blame if there has been—and there is bound to be—any lowering of public confidence in the league.
It has been known for several weeks that a move was underfoot by some clubs to dispense with the post-season playdowns, but it was thought that the W.I.L. would not dare make such a move at this late date. It did and fans are entitled to a good explanation, which they are not likely to get.
Abel announced that the decision was unanimous, but the Victoria club is on record as stating that it voted to retain the play-off. Abel offered as compensation that payment of “suitable and proper” bonuses to teams finishing in the first division has been authorized. But what of compensation to the fans of the four second-division clubs who have been misled into thinking their favorites still had some incentive left for the past two months?
W.I.L. owners have never been in complete accord about post-season play and there has always been considerable opposition. Those opposed argue that the weather is too uncertain and that there is no profit chance for the management. To a degree they are correct. But the weather is not worse than it is in April, and these same owners insist on that silly early start. And making money in the playdowns does not matter. The profit is taken in the last month, or six weeks when, invariably, four to six, and often seven, clubs have nothing left to play for or nothing better to sell their fans than the fact the team still has a play-off chance.
This helped our A’s this season and it must have helped the Tacoma, Yakima and Tri-City clubs as well. Certainly, it didn't hurt. It was evident early in the season that the best Victoria could hope for was a first-division berth. For the past two months, many fans who otherwise might have lost interest have kept coming only because the A’s had a chance of finishing fourth. Then they are informed six games before the season’s end that it was off. If there ever was a breach of faith, this was it. The A’s weren’t going to make it anyway but it won’t sit well with loyal fans to find out the cause they were espousing was never there. It's about time the W.I.L. started thinking more of the paying customer. Maybe there’s a reason why the league is in a shaky financial condition with five teams, probably more, again certain to show a deficit.
Random Harvest
It's all-star time again in the W.I.L. and Victoria Athletics have only one candidate. He’s Don Pries, the hustling third baseman and Ducky has plenty of opposition what with veteran Ken Richardson having a big season for Spokane and Yakima’s Mike Baxes a fine prospect. But he gets this corner’s vote for his team contribution although his .320 batting average is also a good recommendation. Other choices are: John Ritchey, catcher; Vic Buccola, first base; Hugh Luby, second base; Buddy Peterson, shortstop; Dick Sinovic, Ed Murphy and Will Hafey, outfielders; Bob Snyder and Tom Breisinger as orthodox and port-side pitchers, respectively. As manager, it couldn’t be anyone else but Alan Strange off the record.

[Vancouver Province, September 1, 1951]
And so, at last, the ball season’s end is 80 hours away. Bill Schuster is on the eve of getting safely through his maiden year as manager. Bob Brown finishes his freshman year as boss of a real cement stadium.
And what about this season? What single feature about the 1951 Caps, or handful of features, do Brown and Schuster hold responsible for the club’s great showing.
Brown puts it down to three items, four ballplayers, four names you have trouble guessing ahead of this typewriter.
“First, you’ve got to lay it to Schuster,” Brown said, “By his great leadership by demonstration, he kept his boys fighting all season. His technique was ‘Here, boys, here’s what I have done. I’ll do it first and you follow.’
“Schuster learned plenty in this freshman season of his. Above everything, he learned what to discount in club management and what to put a premium on.”
His Loss Cost 10 Games
“If we had not lost Schuster out of the regular lineup we could have won 10 or 12 more games.
“Secondly, we had a great offensive-defensive combination in Johnny Ritchie, behind the plate, and Dick Sinovic, in centre field.
“These two were reciprocal. I mean, when one hit a slump, the other hit a spurt. Sinovic also turned out to be a good leader for his team-mates. He, too, lead by demonstration. His spark and inspiration were vital to us.
“Thirdly, there is Bob Snyder, our great veteran. His pitching steadiness kept the club’s head up at all times.”
We asked Schuster for his impression of the season. He said he agreed with Brown on some of the names.
“But don’t forget,” he said, “what Mr. Brown did for this club. I have never seen a man who wanted a pennant more.
Brown Sought the Best
“Do you want proof of that? Look at the ball players he got for us. Men like Chorlton and Kindsfather. Those guys don’t grow on trees.”
Those of us who have grown to know Schuster have found in this man who came here with the reputation of a baseball clown rather a serious student of the game. He has learned the loneliness of high places. “It has been a rare lesson for me,” he said.
A word must be reserved for the rest of the club. It was a tough season, the schedule probably the worst the WIN ever had.
On top of that, you had the record dry spell which cut out postponements. The newspapermen close to the club saw the ballplayers at times dead beat in the dugout before a game.
If the Caps think they weren’t appreciated, there is one feature of the season to remind them: that attendance record. As Brown said back in April: “Give the public a good ball team, and they’ll support you.” They got a good club and they supported it.

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