Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Monday, August 20, 1951

               W  L  Pct GB
Spokane ..... 84 42 .667 —
Vancouver ... 80 47 .630 4½
Salem ....... 65 61 .516 19
Wenatchee ... 60 66 .476 24
Victoria .... 57 71 .445 28
Tacoma ...... 55 71 .437 29
Yakima ...... 53 74 .417 31½
Tri-City .... 53 75 .408 32

VANCOUVER [Keith Matthews, News Herald, Aug. 21]—The second guessers had their chance to howl Monday night at Cap Stadium and Bill Schuster was their unwitting target.
They always howl against a loser, of course, and the Caps lost this one last night 9-8, though whether they should or not is a matter of conjecture.
Behind all the way and playing bad baseball, the Caps came alive with a roar in the ninth, when Dick Sinovic led off with a line drive double over the right fielder’s head.
It should have been a double, at least, but Richard elected to try for three and was thrown out. What happened later hurt, for the Caps scored twice to come within 9-8, and Sinovic, of course, would have been the tying run.
It was 9-6 when Dick got his hit and it’s still an old adage in baseball that you don’t take unnecessary chances when you are behind.
Schuster was in the third base coaching box and drew most of the cat-calls.
This is Bill’s type of baseball. He likes to gamble. When you play that way, you’re a hero one day, a bum the next. Last night—well, you guessed it.
After Sinovic’s double, Bob McLean was hit by a pitched ball, Reno Cheso singled and Jimmy Moore tripled them both home. Ray Tran got his fourth hit of the night and Jerry Barta walked to fill them up. However, Bob McGuire bounced into a double play that ended it.
Prior to this, the Caps had tried in vain to find a combination to stop the lusty Chiefs. They used four pitchers, starter Carl Gunnarson picking up the loss.
Little Tommy Breisinger went all the way fro Wenatchee and although he wasn’t fooling anybody, he hung in there long enough for the win.
DIAMOND DUST—Earl Sheely, general manager of the Seattle Rainiers, was a guess at the game along with his wife . . . Seattle owned Reno Cheso put on a show for him with three hits, but K. Chorlton, shoved in at first base, had one of those awful-awful nights . . . The same clubs play tonight at 8:30 with Pete Hernandez the Capilano starter . . . There will be a doubleheader starting at 7 o’clock Wednesday night.
Wenatchee ..... 204 200 100—9 12 2
Vancouver ...... 220 002 002—8 15 3
Breisinger and Lake; Gunnarson, Smith (6), Whyte (7), Barta (7) and Ritchey.


Contract Issue Doubtful As Sturgeon Night Near
[Victoria Colonist, Aug. 21, 1951]
Bob Sturgeon, who has done a fine job as manager of the Victoria Athletics, will be honored at a special “night” at Royal Athletic Park Friday night but whether or not he will be offered a contract for next season remains in the doubtful stage.
Business manager Reg Patterson had hoped to make the contract offer the highlight of “Sturgeon Night” and confided his plans over a week ago with the understanding that it remain a secret at least for the period the plan was in the indefinite stage. A premature “guess” has Patterson on the spot.
While there is little doubt but that directors would welcome Sturgeon back as manager, Patterson has yet to consult them and may not be able to get them together before Friday. Most important, however, is the doubtful status of the present ownership. Until the Victoria Baseball and Athletic Co. Ltd. can make assurances that it will be able to operate the Victoria W.I.L. franchise in 1952, it is in no position to make a contract offer.
There has been no indication of late as to whether or not the club can operate next year under the present ownership. Attendance for the season is approximately 70,000 and with 11 more home games, the A’s are not likely to reach the 100,000 mark. However, it is reported that the club will break about even on this season’s operation if the gate mark climbs to 90,000. This seems a reasonable hope.
Even with no red ink this season, there is still the problem of the remaining deficit incurred over the previous two seasons. The outlook has improved considerably since July 1, when the club announced there was a chance it could not continue beyond another week. At the moment, the chances are that the A’s will go to the post in 1952 under the current ownership. If this happens, Sturgeon will most assuredly be at the helm on the field.

TACOMA, Aug. 20 — Unless he runs into a slump far more serious than anything he's encountered thus far, Vancouver's John Ritchey appears “in” as the Western International league's 1951 batting champion.
With two weeks to go in the W-I race, Ritchey's .359 mark, off three points from last week, 13 points ahead of the runner-up figure posted by team-mate Dick Sinovic, whose .346 average likewise represents drop of three points since the last compilation.
In third place at .333 is Mike Baxes of Yakima.
On top for the first time in the contest for runs-batted-in honors is Jim Wert, Spokane first-baseman, who drove 14 mates across during the week for a season's total of 102—he's the first man to top the century mark, incidentally.
Sinovic, longtime leader in the RBI department, is second at 98 and Ken Richardson of Spokane is third with 96.
Without adding to his total of 21, Will Hafey of Wenatchee lost none of his lead in the home run race, since four players tied for second with 11—Buddy Peterson and Vic Buccola of Tri-City, Bill White of Victoria and Jim Marshall of Wenatchee—also remained stationary.
The leaders, as released today from the office of Robert B. Abel, league president:
                    AB  H  RBI  Ave.
Ritchey, Van ..... 396 142  72 .359
Sinovic, Van ..... 488 169  97 .346
Chorlton, Tac-Van. 296 190  44 .338
Baxes, Yak ....... 469 156  60 .333
Vanni, Spok ...... 532 175  59 .329
Wert, Spok ....... 483 158 102 .327
Richardson, Spok . 380 124  96 .326
Mesner, Spok ..... 426 138  88 .324
Peterson, T-C .... 437 141  90 .323
Moran, Tac ....... 502 161  94 .321

Eric Whitehead’s FAN FARE
[from Vancouver Province, August 21, 1951]

Eighteen games to go—and it’s 4 ½ down.
Will Bill Schuster’s Capilanos make up that ground on Spokane by September 4?
Bigger leads have crumbled in faster time (ask Cinderella Manager Paul Richards of the one-time Chicago Wonder-Sox). But, on form, the hustling Spokes figure to still be up there come pennant-blossom time barely more than two weeks from now.
The Caps have 17 contests left to play on their schedule, plus one re-schedule rain-out with Wenatchee (To be played in a doubleheader this week).
And with a local baseball attendance record (145,000) already in the bag, it could be that old master-producer of stirring dramas, Bob Brown, is setting up the schedule’s local grand finale for the biggest short-series fan splurge in WIL history.
It is quite possible that the WIL pennant will hinge on that final Spokane-Vancouver three-game series here Sept. 3 (two games), and 4.
If that does happen, the customers will wave hello or goodbye to a pennant while seated on each other’s laps.
Outlook Fair and Richer
The revival this year of the Shaughnessy playoffs (a post-mortem ‘classic’ abandoned in ’49), might well mean that total baseball attendance this year at the new stadium might exceed 200,000 fans.
A fair estimate of the full home schedule attendance, including eight remaining home dates, would be around 177,000. With a break in scheduling of the playoffs, Vancouver could host a total of five games (or a minimum of one). And this might give the beaming front office its coveted double-century for the year’s business.
Here’s how the playoffs will work:
The four top teams will of course qualify. Normally, the first-place club plays the third-place club and the second and fourth place clubs hook up for the best two of three semi-finals. The winners clash in a best three-of-five series for the championship.
Victoria May Move In
At a recent league meeting in Spokane, however, president Bob Abel agreed that playoff scheduling would be made with an eye to the travelling costs, which, like all other costs these days, are repulsive.
Thus, clubs geographically closest together would meet in the semi-finals.
For example, if, as per the current standings, Spokane, Vancouver, Salem and Wenatchee are the playoff clubs, Spokane would be matched with nearby Wenatchee, and Vancouver would draw not-to-nearby Salem.
If long-shot Victoria (now three and a half games behind Wenatchee) should surge into the first division, then it would be Vancouver, Victoria and Salem-Spokane for the Shaughnessy curtain-raiser.
For the finals, there should be little doubt. It will be Spokane or Vancouver, or my name is Mud. Or have I said that before.
The Shaughnessy playoffs, incidentally, are very popular with the players concerned. They share one third of the gate.

By DON BECKER, Herald Sports Editor [from Aug. 21, 1951]
Along about this time, when the dog days of the baseball season set in it's always a pretty good idea to take stock and see just what has happened . . . and in some cases why nothing has.
Any time you have a losing team, such as our Braves, the public who foots the bill starts to look around for a goat. Someone they can point to as being responsible for the state of affairs such as Tri-City currently finds themselves in. And the usual thing is to fire the manager, hire a few faces, and go on from there.
That we say is the usual thing . . . and in seven of the eight teams in this WIL It would probably be the proper thing. For, aside from our own club, the field managers (as distinguished from the general managers) are completely responsible for the makeup of their teams. Within limits that is. None of them have a blank check-book to go out and sign players of course.
However, such is not the case with the Braves. Whether their present system is a good one or not depends on the viewpoint. Had Tri-City been a front runner it wouldn't be difficult to find many who would approve of such a plan. The plan whereby the front office to a very large extent, decides just which players they will sign. Before we get too much further along perhaps it might be well at this point to explain that in most baseball organizations it is the perogative of the manager to pick his players and that of the front office to sign them. That, to the best of our knowledge is the situation as it exists among the seven other teams , . . and has been confirmed by nearly every manager.
But within the Brave organization it operates quite a bit differently. Aside from the seasoned veterans, practically the entire crop of talent that appears at spring training is handpicked by the front office. This same situation also applies to most players who join the team during the season. Thus in all fairness to Charlie Petersen, . . . it should be remembered that it is not the team of his choosing.
Why bother with such a long winded defense? Well, there seems to be a certain degree of doubt among many fans we've talked to in the past few days as to what the exact status of Petersen with relation to the ,team was. Thus, the foregoing paragraphs.
Not too long ago we mentioned here that you could watch for changes within the Braves organization. And from what we've been able to piece together lately here's the general situation as it stands right now. There are two groups working Independently of each other and both attempting to get control of the team.
As far as we know this may be the first either of them knows that someone other than themselves is interested in taking over. However, thus far neither has made what you might call a definite move. Most of the work has been spent in talking and in lining up enough of the green stuff to swing the deal. As a matter of fact this corner has even been approached with the idea in mind of investing in the team. But much as we'd like to ... we just can't.
One thing you've got to say about the Braves ... and it's to their everlasting credit . . . despite the fact they are now roosting in the cellar they have never quit hustling . . . the reason Nick Pesut sat out the second game in Spokane Sunday night is because the big guy was literally out on his feet. He had caught 92 consecutive games without relief.

No comments: