Thursday, 31 July 2008

Play Ball!

Tri-City Hosts Calgary in Thursday Night WIL Start
[Thursday, April 29, 1954]
“Give us folks decent weather,” says Bob Abel, “and the Western International League will have a tremendously successful opening night Thursday.”
The Tacoma attorney who doubles as league president will attend the Tri-City portion of the opening baseball program at Kennewick. The game will match the Calgary Stampeders—the team that was snatched from the grave—against Tri-City’s Braves.
Elsewhere around the 10-team circuit Edmonton will open at Salem, Wenatchee at Lewiston, Yakima at Spokane and Victoria at Vancouver.
Calgary, plagued by memories of poor attendance last year, came close to dropping out of the loop just when spring training was due to start. In the nick of time the directors decided to continue and the Stampeders will be set to go when the umpire yells “play ball!”
All the towns have drafted elaborate plans for the opening, with booster club luncheons and pre-game ceremonies. Spokane will have a parade with drums, bugles, beauties and one real, live elephant.
Lewiston appears to rank as the early favorite, mainly because it has nearly everybody back from the team that finished strongly in 1953. The Broncs could get their toughest opposition from Vancouver’s Capilanos, who swiped the Lewiston manager-pitcher, Bill Brenner, during the winter.
Many of the clubs which seemed ticketed for also-ran status a week ago have begun to show improvement as the Coast League pared its rosters and sent a number of promising players to the WIL.
As was the case last year, the league will play a split-season schedule, rubbing out the standings and starting over July 7.

WIL Will Open Season Tonight
By United Press
The Class “A” Western International Baseball League, long on spirit, but sometimes short on cash customers, opens a 150-game, split-season tonight with 10 teams ready to go.
Opening night games feature Victoria at Vancouver, Calgary at Tri-City, Edmonton at Salem, Wenatchee at Lewiston and Yakima at Spokane.
League President Robert Abel of Tacoma will take in the Tri-City-Calgary game at Kennewick where Don Robertson (14-9) in 1953 will hurl for Tri-City and Ed Kapp (10-7) last season takes the mound for Calgary.
Calgary, incidentally, caused financial flurry early in spring training when it looked like the Stamps would not field a team come starting day. However, Calgary fans got behind Manager Gene Lillard and the Stamps are now ready for the first pitch
Vancouver, under new Manager Bill Brenner, opens at home against Victoria. The Capilanos finished fourth and this in last year’s play but are an added threat this year with Brenner available for mound duty and a good crop of rookies sent down by the Seattle club of the Pacific Coast League.
Brenner says he will send Bill Franks (13-14) with Spokane last year to the mound while the Victoria starter is unannounced.
Spokane, last year’s playoff winner, opens at home against the Yakima Bears. Spokane Manager Don Osborn lost a flock of talent from last year’s team but has a new crop of hopefuls from the Philadelphia Phillies. Righthander John Anderson who won 18 and lost 11 with Terre Haute in the Three-I League in 1953 will start for Spokane.
At Salem, the Salem Senators present a new manager in Harvey Storey who blasted WIL hurling for a .343 mark in 1953. Storey will send Jack Hemphill (15-12) in 1953 to the mound. Salem opens against Edmonton who will probably counter with John Conant (24-13) on the mound.
Larry Barton will try to bring Lewiston home in front this year—a feat nearly accomplished last season by his predecessor, Bill Brenner. Barton boasts lots of punch in his lineup but has a hatful of hurling problems. Lewiston meets Wenatchee at home in the opener.
George Kelly, former New York Giants star, is at the helm of the Wenatchee club this year and the Braves really hustled during spring training. Kelly hopes they keep it up.
Last year, the loop drew 701,959 customers through the turnstiles with Edmonton leading with 92,758 and its next-door neighbor, Calgary, low with 40,106.
Salem took the first half in 1953 with a solid finish to win by 1½ games over Edmonton. Spokane edged Lewiston by one game in the second half and went on to down Salem 4-2 in the best-of-seven playoffs.

Dick Greco Signs With Capilanos

Found: Left Fielder For Opener Tonight
[Vancouver Province, April 29, 1954]
General Manager Bill Brenner of the pro baseball Capilanos has found his left fielder in time for tonight’s WIL opener at Capilano Stadium.
Bill tried everybody by Trainer Hal Younker in left pasture during spring training in an attempt to get the man he wanted.
He finally got that man today, when Dick Greco, one of the storied sluggers of the league, got final official clearance from all hands and signed a Vancouver form.
Greco, who has muscles on his muscles, will be in the cleanup spot in the starting lineup tonight at 8:15 p.m. against Victoria Tyees. Opening ceremonies, with a band, singer, and introduction of players, start at 8 p.m.
* * *
Pitcher Bill Franks will be on the mound, opposing Victoria’s ace, Bob Drilling.
Here’s how the Caps, featuring what is alleged to be good power, plenty of veterans, and not too many faces from 1953, will line up:
Jim Clark, shortstop; K Chorlton, centre field; Marv Williams, second base; Dick Greco, left field; Ken Richardson, third base; Nick Pesut, catcher; Arnie Hallgren, right field; Ellis Daugherty, first base; Bill Franks, pitcher.
* * *
– The Caps cut their roster by one Wednesday when pitcher Baz Nagle was given his release … And negotiations are going on between Wenatchee and Seattle Rainiers for Lloyd Jenney … The Chiefs want Jenney as a catcher … Bill Brenner is scheduled to pitch the Caps’ second game Friday … Then the locals go on the road, playing in Yakima Saturday and twice Sunday … They return home Monday to play Seattle’s Coast League team in their annual exhibition tussle … Incidentally, the Capilanos have an exhibition contest billed for Bellingham for their first open Sunday.
* * *
Greco got in a little batting practice with the Caps last night and gave the some 500 fans who braved the cold for the full dress rehearsal quite a show … he bounced one off the left field corner flag just to prove his reflexes were still operating … Brenner got in trim by attending a Junior Chamber of Commerce dinner in Stanley Park Pavilion and giving them a preview of the ’54 club.
* * *
Elsewhere around the circuit tonight, Bob Abel, league president, will attend the game at Kennewick between Tri-City Braves and Calgary Stampeders.
Edmonton will open at Salem, Wenatchee at Lewiston, and Yakima at Spokane.

Calgary 1954 Preview

Financial Troubles Highlight First Days of Calgary's Club
(Editor’s note: This is one in a series on the prospects of the Western International League, written for the Associated Press by the sportswriters who follow the teams throughout the season).
Calgary Herald Sportswriter
[Wednesday, April 28, 1954]
CALGARY (AP)—The committee-room battles were of more interest than the possible player material for Calgary’s Stampeders of the Western International Baseball league during the past few months.
The men who gained a league franchise for Calgary last year had a rough financial time, dropping a reported $80,000 (including purchase of players and all equipment needed for a first-year operation) and were leery of making another stab at it.
It wasn’t until a special league meeting was called a few weeks back that the officials made up their minds and decided to try again.
Plans Revised
Revising some of last year’s plans, the officials appointed local men as business manager and public relations officers and will try twilight ball. The park in Calgary is located near the Bow River and even on a warm summer night it gets chilly shortly after night games get under way. Officials also remembered that in the old days, when flood lights still were a thing to come, Calgary had set a minor league record for attendance.
Stampeders have not yet a full roster of players available, but with the help of the league’s past president, Bob Brown, of Vancouver, B.C., hope to line up a strong team for the lengthy schedule. Former Pacific Coast League slugger Gene Lillard is back at the helm and, even though hedging the 40-mark, will probably take an active team role again this season.
Splitting the catching assignment with Don Bricker last year, Gene intends to revert to his turn on the mound this term, working as a steady reliefer.
Bricker will report early in June. At present he is studying at the University of California. In the meantime, Don Lundberg, received from the Vancouver Capilanos, will probably do the catching.
First Base Spot Set
The Stampeders are set at first base with Jim Wert, purchased from Vancouver last year. Also returning will be second baseman Don Hunter, who clouted 26 home runs
and batted in 90 runs with a .292 average last season. Expected to hold down the shortstop post, filled by Ken Whitehead last season, is Elmer Clow, who spent 1953 with the Yakima Bears.
Third baseman Rocky Tedesco is being converted into an outfielder. Gus Stathes, a .391 hitter, is the only holdover in the pasture, and joins Gale Taylor, sent along by Vancouver.
Stamps are a bit shrt on pitching until expected help from the Cleveland Indian farm system and the San Francisco Seals comes along. Southpaw Bob Schulte, out most of last season with an ailing arm and who trained with Portland, and righthanders Eddie Kapp and Bill Stites are back, as well as other prospects trying out for berths.
Cleveland has optioned catcher Ron King, first baseman Al Smith and third baseman Dennis Luby.
It also has a working agreement with the San Francisco Seals, but has yet to receive any player help from there.

Spring Training, Wednesday, April 28, 1954

Greco Telegram Away From Cap Home Opener
[Vancouver Province, April 28, 1954]
Big Dick Greco, one of the most fearsome sluggers ever to grace the Western International League, is one telegram away from being in the Vancouver Capilanos’ outfield on opening night, tomorrow, at Capilano Stadium.
Greco, put on the waiver list by Tri-City Braves, wasn’t claimed by any of the other nine clubs in the league.
As per an earlier agreement, it he wasn’t picked up, League President Robert Abel was to then send Greco’s personal cheque for $3500 to Tri-City, who would in turn give Greco his free agency.
All that is required now is a telegram from Eddie Taylor, Braves’ general manager, to Abel, saying that the large fly-chaser is now a free man. General Manager Bill Brenner of the Capilanos will then waste no time getting Dick’s name on a contract so he can take over the No. 4 batting spot in Thursday’s inaugural against Victoria Tyees.
Taylor, more than a bit unhappy about the whole Greco situation, could still foul up the deal by temporarily holding back the telegram. But Abel told Brenner today that he was personally appealing to Taylor to send the wire immediately.
If Greco, renowned around the circuit as along ball hitter, does play Thursday, he’ll likely play right field, with Arnie Hallgren moving to left.
The rest of the lineup will read: Nick Pesut, catcher; Ellis Daugherty, first base; Marv Williams, second base; Ken Richardson, third base; Jim Clark, shortstop and Bill Franks, pitcher.
Clark, who twisted an ankle Sunday in Lewiston, gave it a rest in the Caps’ last two exhibition games in Yakima, and is expected to be ready Thursday. If not, handyman Bob Duretto will be pressed into service for that spot.
Incidentally, a skeleton crew of Caps dropped last night’s game in Yakima, 14-4, as the Bears fattened up on the offerings of Baz Nagle and Bill Tompkins.
DIAMOND DUST – All the Caps pulled into town today and will hold a full dress rehearsal at Cap Stadium tonight at 7:30 under the lights … Ticket sales have been brisk, and is more than double what it was at this time last year … An acrobatic troupe, the Olympians, who jump about on trampolines and such, has been lined up as an added attraction for Seattle Rainiers’ visit here next Monday.

Drilling To Open Against Vancouver
Tyees Complete Pre-Season Schedule Trounce Farmers Before 1,200 Fans

[Victoria Colonist, April 28, 1954]
Victoria Tyees completed their pre-season exhibition schedule last night by trouncing Farmers’ Construction, 17-1, at Royal Athletic Park. An estimated 1,200 fans took in all or part of the game, which was “on the house.”
It was the sixth straight win for the Tyees, training at home for the first time in club history. They met Farmers’ Construction four times and Courtenay twice. Although the calibre of opposition was not up to WIL standards, the Tyees indicated they will have good punch despite the total lack of a regular lefthanded-hitting regular, and one of the league’s finer infields. There may be need for another outfielder and the club could use one or two good pitchers.
Don Pries, starting his first managerial season, tempered his usual optimism with a wee bit of caution when queried about his views last night. He was satisfied with the club’s infield, the versatility on the club and its spirit but admitted it was hard to judge performance off a short training season with only amateur opposition.
Pries was almost certain of his starting line-up for the league opener against Vancouver Capilanos at Vancouver tomorrow night. He gave Bob Drilling the nod as opening-game pitcher and there was no surprises in any of the other positions.
Unless his back injury proves more troublesome than expected, Pries will be at first base tomorrow, Ron Jackson will be at second, Steve Mesner at third and Eddie Lake at shortstop. From left to right in the outfield it will be Joe Joshua, Tommy Perez and Dain Clay. Milt Martin will do the catching.
Not quite as certain about his batting order, Pries indicated Jackson would lead off, Pries will bat second followed in order by Lake, Mesner, Perez, Joshua, Clay, Martin and Drilling. Clay, a veteran who still has most of his speed afoot, will probably move up after a few games, but has had less than a week of training.
In reserve the Tyees have outfielder-catcher Armando Sanchez, outfielder-first baseman Art Seguso, outfielders Jerry Kane and Tom Keough, and infielders Pepper Wesley, Primo Santini and Jerry Parker. No all will make the first road trip with the club. Pries intended to carry all eight pitchers on hand and only 11 other players. However, the manager couldn’t name the players he will keep last night. Those who don’t make it will be sent out to another club, the Tyees wishing to retain title to the best-looking group of rookies they have ever had.
[unreadable] Friday night game at Vancouver, with Bill Prior likely to open the Wenatchee series Saturday. Pries was undecided about his starters for Sunday’s doubleheader but is planning to have Drilling ready for the Victoria opener against Tri-City next Monday. He can choose from Bob Moen, ex-University of Washington southpaw who reported yesterday, southpaws Berlyn Hodges and Dan Smith, and righthanders Jim Reynolds and Mike Kanshin.
Last night, Hodges started for the Tyees and went five innings. He gave up three hits, no runs, struck out four and gave up four bases on balls. He flashed an effective curve and was in control. Smith, the big rookie from Fairbanks, Alaska, finished up and yielded three hits in his four innings, striking out one and walking one. The only run off his delivery, in the seventh inning, was the result of a ball lost in the lights which fell for a double.
Batting against Lowell Hodges, Don Donahue, Bernie Anderson and Art Worth, the Tyees had a 10-lead [sic] after three innings, scored three more in the fourth and sixth and one in the eighth as they wrapped out 15 hits. Included were three doubles by Jackson in his first three trips, a bases-loaded double by Martin, a double by Mesner and a triple by Joshua. Mesner, who hasn’t been hitting in previous games, indicated he may be ready by adding two singles.
Ron Karadimis not only picked up three solid singles for the losers but came up with several good catches in right field.
Pries will put his club through a lengthy batting drill today in its last workout. The Tyees will go to Vancouver by air and they aren’t going to see much left-handed pitching. Herman Franks, a 13-game winner with Spokane last season, will pitch the first game for Caps while manager Bill Brenner will do the honors in the second.

Emmett Ashford Moves Up From WIL

Even Bragan Likes Him—
Ashford-The Only Ump Who Ever Drew Fans’ Applause
(United Press Sports Writer)
[April 27, 1953]
Emmett Ashford not only is the first Negro to umpire in organized baseball but probably the only arbiter who ever drew a round of applause—other than sarcastic—merely for dusting off the plate. The stocky, stylish Ashford loves his work and Pacific Coast league fans love to watch him. He has turned the menial chore of sweeping the dish into a ceremony. First he gives home base four or five crisp brushes with the whisk broom then tops it off by giving it a little kick. The crowd cheers.
Ashford calls pitches and makes nerve-wracking decisions in a voice that can be heard in any man’s park. Bobby Bragan, who eats umpires for breakfast, thinks Emmett is one of the most competent to come into the coast league.
The petulant manager of the Hollywood stars ought to know. It was Ashford who sent him home early during an exhibition game against Los Angeles this spring.
The beef started when Ashford, who was plate umpire, ruled that Bob Usher of the Angels was hit by a pitched ball. Bragan stormed out of the dugout claiming the ball had struck Usher’s bat first and should be ruled a foul. Ashford said nothing doing.
“Bobby took off his cap and hurled it all the way up the screen,” Ashford recalls. “Boom! there was nothing I could do except order him out of the game.”
But Bragan wouldn't leave. He assumed a reclining position in front of base umpire Al Mutart, a pose that got him into a national magazine. Then Bragan rushed back toward Ashford.
“Ask Mutart, if the ball hit Usher or not,” Bragan challenged.
“You're out of the game,” Emmett answered.
“I won't go until you check with Mutart,” Bragan thundered. Ashford walked away and Bragan, a Texan, departed.
“Emmett is one of the best umpires we have in the league,” Bragan said later. “'He knows how to make a call and he hustles.”
Ashford built up 15 years seniority as a postal clerk in his native Los Angeles before leaving that comparatively peaceful world to be an umpire in the Southwest International league. That was in 1951. His most hectic night was in El Paso a year later.
A crucial series was starting in the Arizona-Texas league between El Paso and Chihuahua which had three Negroes on the club. Ashford had come into this loop after the Southwest International circuit had blown up in mid season. He arrived unheralded at the El Paso park. There was a gasp when the fans saw a Negro take up his position as plate umpire.
In the very first inning, one of Chihuahua’s Negro players raced from first to third on a single. Ashford had to run from home to third to call the play. It was close but the man was safe.
“Even before I got my arms out to make the signal everybody in the park let go,” Ashford grins. “I got what Jackie Robinson got when he first broke in—double in spades.”
As the game progressed, Ashford noticed that the ball park’s police corps had increased from about two men to a dozen. But El Paso won the game, 6-5. And when he umpired the final series of the year there later, he was given standing ovation by the crowd.
Ashford moved up to the class A Western International league last year and hopes that after two years in triple A baseball he might rate a shot at the majors.

Spokane 1954 Preview

Lots of New Faces in 1954 Edition of Spokane Indians
(Editor’s Note: This is one of the series on the prospects of the Western International League, written for The Associated Press by the sportswriters who follow the teams throughout the season.)
Spokane Chronicle Sportswriter
[Tuesday, April 27, 1954]
SPOKANE—Any resemblance between the 1953 Spokane Indians who won the Western International League pennant and the 1954 club now being put together by Manager Don Osborn may be purely coincidental.
That’s not to say the Indians won’t be a contender again. Manager Osborn thinks they will be. But there'll be a lot of new faces in the lineup.
The Indians, who started a youth movement a few seasons ago, plan to stick with youngsters again although there will be a mild sprinkling of older players to help settle the newcomers.
Holes Not Filled
With the opening of the season just a few days away the Indians aren’t completely set. Biggest holes are in the infield and the need for a left-handed hitting outfielder.
Only five members of the 1953 championship club are back. Will Hafey, who hit 25 homers a year ago, and Eddie Murphy, the veteran centerfield speedster, return to the outfield. Only Bob Donkersley is back at shortstop among the infielders.
Ralph Romero and Virgil Giovannonni represent the only returnees to the mound staff.
Everything else is new although Osborn is hopeful that Jimmy Command currently is working out with Syracuse, the Phils triple-A club in the International League. Brown is a holdout.
Osborn believes he has made improvement in the mound staff with many new faces. Among them are John Anderson, who won 18 for Terre Haute last year; Len Wisneski, a 12-game winner from Salt Lake; Jack Trautwein, a big left hander who had a 9-6 record at Granby in the Provincial League and Tom Lawson who is still a student at Michigan State.
Ex-Serviceman Trying
Just out of service and eyeing mound jobs are Bud Closs, a 6 foot 4 inch right hander, and Charles Schildmeyer, a 200 pounder credited by Osborn with one of the best curve balls in baseball.
A Western International League pitching veteran who hopes to make a comeback is Dick Aubertin, out of pro baseball last year.
Besides Donkersley at shortstop Osborn has Gerald (Red) Robbins, a service returnee working at first base and Chuck Ruddock, who was in the Army the past two years working at second. If Brown and Command return it’s possible Ruddock will fill the utility infield role, having played all positions but first.
Murphy and Hafey give the Indians at least two-thirds of a solid outfield. Attempting to pick off the right field spot is John Vossen, a right-handed swinger who has never hit under .300 during his professional career. He was an outstanding athlete at Oklahoma University a few seasons ago.
New Catchers
The catching department has two new faces since Bill Sheets was sold to Edmonton and Jerry Ogle was drafted. Ellsworth (Diz) Dean, first string receiver for Salt Lake last year, has teen designated as the Indians first string receiver. Eddie Sack, who was with Terre Haute last year, is the No 2 back stopper and may yet work his way to a starting assignment.
Since Spokane has a full working agreement with Philadelphia this year Osborn expects to get whatever additional help he’ll need to keep the Tribe in contention.
He rates the Spokane mound staff as superior and the catching at least as good if not better than a year ago. The outfield looks capable but will miss the big bat of Stan Palys, who led the 1953 champs with a .331 average.
The Indians got off to a shaky start last year but came on strong to win the second half race and the playoff. They figure to get stronger as the season moves along again.

Spokane Indians Face Major Rebuilding Job
SPOKANE, Apr. 21 (UP) — If Don Osborn and his Spokane Indians win the Western International title this year it will represent the biggest construction job in the northwest since the Grand Coulee Dam.
Osborn turned the trick last year when the Indians took the second half of play and then downed Salem 4-2 in the playoffs but the 1953 outfit is no more.
When Osborn assembled his hopefuls at Bennetsville, S.C., this spring, he faced the task of rebuilding from the ground up.
Stan Palys, a .331 hitter last year with 95 RBIs is making a bid with the Philadelphia Phillies; Will Hafey, who hit 25 homes and drove in 110 runs, is trying to stick with Syracuse; infielders Jim Brown and Bob Donkersley are trying to move up and hurler Jack Spring (14-8) and George New (5-12) are showing their wares elsewhere.
Others missing from last years squad are catchers Bill Sheets and Jerry Ogle; pitchers Bill Franks and Bob Nemes; shortstop Wilbur Johnson; third sacker Jim Command and first baseman Carl Bush.
It is possible many of those working out in the Philadelphia farm system will be turned back to Spokane. Others will not be back.
With this bleak outlook staring him in the face, Osborn was no doubt pleased when centre-fielder Eddie Murphy of last year’s team turned up at training camp.
Murphy covers more ground than a circus tent, hit .269 last year and swiped 41 bases. His presence gives Osborn something to build on.
Meanwhile, the Spokane skipper must await help from the Phillies. Some of it has already hit camp and Osborn is looking over a flock of newcomers.
Lefty Jack Trautwein (9-6) with Granby of the Provincial League in 1953 has joined the Indians’ camp along with right handers John Anderson, Charles Schieldmeyer, Len Weniski, Ralph Romero and Tom Lawson.
Romero was around last year and picked up 11 victories while losing 10. The rest. Anderson (11-8) with Terre Haute of the Three-I League in 1953 seems to be the prize. Weniski won 12 and lost 13 for Salt Lake City last season; Schieldmeyer is back in pro ball after a tour in the military service and Lawson is a college player for whom Osborn has high hopes.
Catcher Ellsworth Dean, a .270 sticker with Salt Lake City last season, has been turned over to the Indians along with Tom Cooper, reserve backstopper for Schenectady in 1953.
Outfielder Frank Turcey, who hit .277 with Terre Haute in 1953, has joined the club along with Bull Rudock, infield who played first base before Uncle Sam got in his bid.
That’s about the current crop from which Osborn must try to pluck a winner. There will be more and the picture can change fast but, as of now, Osborn must do the best with what he has.

Wenatchee 1954 Preview

Die-Hards and Gimmicks Put New Life in Wenatchee Club
(Editor’s Note: This is one in series on the prospects of the Western International League, written for The Associated Press by the sportswriters who follow the teams throughout the season)
Wenatchee Daily World [April 26, 1954]
WENATCHEE — Die-hard baseball fans and a gimmick called the “apple box derby” have jumped new life into the Wenatchee Western International League baseball franchise.
About ready to throw in the sponge and facing a $30,000 deficit at one point during the winter, baseball boosters here have cut the red ink to a trickle.
The apple box derby was a natural for the Apple Capitol [sic] of the World. Fruit warehouses entered 60 boxes to be floated 18 miles down the Columbia River.
Entry Fees
Entry fees were $10 and tickets were sold for $1 entitling purchasers to estimate the time, in advance, of the winning play. Almost $3,000 was raised to help pay the team’s old debts.
The event along with a donation campaign and creditors voluntarily closing out their accounts, allowed the team to whittle the $30,000 debt down to about $6,000.
To head the 1954 club, the Chiefs signed as manager George (Highpockets) Kelly, the old New York Giant first baseman, who for several years has been a coach for the Pacific Coast League Oakland Acorns.
Kelly began his career in 1914 at Victoria, and was later an all-time great for John McGraw in the 1920’s with the Giants.
A strong tie-up with Oakland will be in effect this year, with Kelly on hand to develop young talent for the PCL club.
.302 Hitter
Never given to superlatives, Kelly has already predicted Wenatchee will have “the best infield in the WIL” this season. He bases this forecast on the return of Tommy Munoz, a .302 hitter in 95 games with the Chiefs last year. Tony Rivas, a hard-hitting rookie second baseman and Jerry (Pumpsie) Green, a top-flight glove man last year.
Munoz signed with the Oaks for $30,000 three years ago. Rivas entered pro ball this spring after California collegiate experience, and Green was a defensive standout last year with Wenatchee. He will play shortstop this season, with veteran Don Stanford, a .294 hitter in 1953, moving over to third base.
In the outfield. Joe Unfriend, a .303 bitter in 1950 who has just returned from two years in the service, is expected to hold down centerfield.
Rookies Don Faber, from Oakland and Dick Stacey, a Spokane boy who played at San Jose Junior College, are other outfield prospects.
Vet Purchased
Ross McCormack, a. three-year veteran with Wenatchee, was purchased by Oakland last winter but may be returned for another season in the WIL. He hit .292 in 1953 and is a top defensive man.
Manager Kelly has his biggest problem in the pitching and catching departments. Harry Bartolomei and Jake Helmuth. last year’s receivers, have retired from the game and only Matthew Kellum-Rose, a rookie, and Walt Aragon, who has had some pro experience, were in the Chiefs’ spring training camp at Petaluma, Calif.
Keith Bowman, a fire-balling righthander who had an 8-9 record and a 3.40 earned run average, and veteran Charlie Oubre, 14-15 last year, will form the nucleus of the mound staff.
Reliefer Returns
Also returning are Frankie DeCarolis, a five-foot- five-inch relief hurler who had a 7-8 record in 1953, and Jack Klein, 2-9, mainly reliefer.
Despite his one-hitter in the first week of Coast League play for Oakland, righthander Charlie Beamon may be returned to Wenatchee, according to Kelly. Beamon had a 10-12 record last year.
Kelly also hopes to get Rick Botelho, the lefthander who was picked on the WIL second all-star
team and who posted a 11-10 mark last season. Both Beamon and Botelho are 19-year-olds.
Ernie Broglio, another Oakland youngster m his second year of pro ball, also is being eyed by Kelly.
With a strong infield in sight and potentially good pitching, and the help expected from Oakland, Wenatchee fans are betting their team will finish higher than the fifth and ninth-place standings of the 1953 split-season.

Spring Training, Tuesday, April 27, 1954

Brenner Names Franks For Opener
By Clancy Loranger
[Vancouver Province, April 27, 1954]
YAKIMA, Wash.—Pitching season openers is nothing new for Bill Franks who was officially nominated Monday by general manager Bill Brenner to do the honors for the Capilanos in Thursday’s WIL inaugural against Victoria Tyees at Vancouver. The slender redhead has pitched six times on getaway day in his eight years of pro baseball. He’s had quite some success, too, winning all but one of those, and the time he lost, he said, he was sick and shouldn’t have pitched.
Brenner originally named pitcher Brenner to fire the first pitches of the 1954 season, but Bill’s been having his usual spring trouble. His knuckle ball just hasn’t been behaving for him, and he was whacked solidly twice last week.
Sunday, a mite worried about this, Brenner dug up a regulation league ball, with a higher seam than the ones they’ve been using in training, and the ball started to jump for him. But it still wasn’t zigging to his satisfaction, so he told Franks he would lead off. Franks, who won 13 and lost 14 for Spokane last season, tosses ‘em up side-arm, and has been the most impressive-looking pitcher in camp.
Brenner will handle the pitching the second night of the Caps’ first home series, which is just a two-night stand. The club comes back here Saturday and Sunday. Caps return home Monday to host Seattle Rainiers that night and Salem Tuesday and Wednesday.
When Seattle pays its visit, the Rainiers will be leaving one, and very likely two, men behind to change into Vancouver uniforms. The Caps will get one pitcher, definitely, but it won’t be Jim Suchecki. The price on him is too higher, says Brenner.
The other man the Suds will leave behind will be Bob Wellman, Brenner says, or believes, or anyway, he hopes. The yeses and nos are coming too fast for him right now on the Wellman situation, so we’ll all just have to wait and see.
George Nicholas, pitching his first game in three years, limited Yakima Bears to just three hits in five innings last night as Caps took the Bears into camp 9-0. Vancouver boy Rod MacKay finished the job for the winners.

Tyees To Finish Pre-Season Preps In Game Tonight
[Victoria Colonist, April 27, 1954]
Victoria Tyees, bolstered by the addition of a much-needed pitcher, will wind up their pre-season exhibition series tonight at Royal Athletic Park when they meet Farmers Construction, crack city amateur club, for the fourth time.
Checking into the Tyees’ camp Sunday was right-hander Jim Reynolds, who played semi-pro ball last season in Nebraska, played 30 days with Meridian of the Cotton States League in 1952, and the three previous years saw action in the West Texas-New Mexico League, where he compiled an over-all 46-43 won and lost record.
Manager Don Pries, who is still suffering the effects of a back injury but hopes to get into some action tonight, said yesterday that the 30-year-old Reynolds worked out lightly. Also expected to reach the camp of the city’s Western International League club shortly is southpaw Bob Moen, acquired from Vancouver Capilanos.
In closing out their spring training games tonight, the Tyees will be seeking their sixth straight win against amateur competition. Sunday, before an estimated 2,000 fans at Courtenay, the Tyees swept both ends of a twin bill from the Comox District All-Stars, although they had to work for both victories.
Mike Kanshin and Berlyn Hodges combined to give up only five hits and Dain Clay rapped out a two-run single to spark the Tyees to a 3-1 victory in the opener. The second game was a sloppily-played affair, both teams committing five errors, as the Tyees won out by a 14-12 score.
Club officials, hoping that as many Victoria baseball fans as possible will come out tonight for a final look before the Tyees open their season at Vancouver Thursday, have announced that no admission will be charged.
Pries will stick pretty much to the same line-up he has been starting in recent games. Don Smith, newcomer to the mound staff who saw action in the second game at Courtenay Sunday, Hodges and Bill Prior will share the pitching duties against Farmers.
Art Seguso will start at first base in place of Pries; Ron Jackson will play second, Steve Mesner third and Ed Lake, shortstop. Milt Martin will be behind the plate and Joe Joshua, Tom Perez and Dain Clay will compose the outfield.


YAKIMA, April 28 — Veteran pitcher Danny Rios scattered eight blows to the Vancouver Capilanos and his hit-happy Yakima teammates connected sixteen times in taking a 14-4 Western International League exhibition baseball game Tuesday night.
Vancouver ..... 120 000 0— 4 8 3
Yakima .......... 052 340 0—14 16 3
Nagle, Tompkins (4), Del Sarto (5) and Pesut, Jenney (5); Rios and Summers, Ling (6).

Spring Training, Monday, April 26, 1954

Twenty Survive Cap ‘Culling’
By Clancy Loranger
[Vancouver Province, April 26, 1954]
YAKIMA, Wash.—Vancouver Capilanos’ contingent of 20 players arrived here today, en route to their home base, after winding up their spring baseball stay at Clarkston, Wash., by splitting a pair of weekend exhibition games with Lewiston Broncs.
The Caps, who took a 12-5 drubbing Saturday, won a well-pitched game at Lewiston Sunday, 3-1, play two games here in Yakima before heading north to Vancouver. They meet the WIL Bears tonight and Tuesday, then work out under the lights at Capilano Stadium Wednesday night. Thursday, of course, is opening night, with the Victoria Tyees providing the opposition.
Of the close-to-40 ball players who passed through camp, 20 survived the cutdowns, and some of those will pass on if and when such reinforcements as Bob Wellman, Dick Greco and Jim Suchecki materialize. One player left on the weekend when Jack Bukowatz, last year’s second baseman, was returned to Seattle. He’ll be optioned to Salem.
Here are the 20 players coming north:
CATCHERS: Nick Pesut and Bob Duretto.
INFIELDERS: Ellis Daugherty, Marv Williams, Ken Richardson, Jim Clark.
OUTFIELDERS: K. Chorlton, Arnie Hallgren, Lloyd Jenney, Danny Holden.
PITCHERS: General manager Bill Brenner, Bill Franks, Bob Roberts, George Nicholas, Tom Del Sarto, John Cordell, Bill Tompkins, Rod MacKay, Baz Nagle.
There could be a change in the opening night pitcher. Brenner, a slow starter, hasn’t been able to get his knuckle ball to behave for him yet, and when that’s not working, he takes quite a beating. He was really hit hard in Tri-City recently, and Saturday night the first five Lewiston batters hit safely off him, one of them for a three-run homer.
Bill Franks will replace Brenner if the boss thinks he isn’t ready yet. Franks, who pitched five innings of hitless ball against Tri-City, looked good again Sunday, allowing just one run in six innings against Lewiston.
Williams, Hallgren, Duretto, Clark and Chorlton also went well on the weekend. Williams hit a 350 foot home run Saturday over the right field wall, his off field, and Sunday knocked the paint off the left-centre field wall with a 400-foot double.
Hallgren, who improves every day, also homered Saturday, as did Duretto. And Hallgren, whose throwing arm is the talk of the camp, doubled a man off first base again Sunday after grabbing a line drive.

Osario Heads North
SAN FRANCISCO, April 26—The San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League announced today that outfielder Elias Osorio has been optioned to the Edmonton club of the Western International league. Osorio hit .200 in 10 times at bat with the Seals this year.


SALEM, Ore., April 26 — The Salem Senators of the Western International League made the most of nine hits here Monday as they downed Sacramento of the Coast League, 6-4, in an exhibition baseball game.
The Senators started fast withtwo runs in the first only to have the Sacs explode for four runs in the third on four singles, an error and a hit batsman.

YAKIMA, April 27—Veteran George Nicholas, who threw a no-hitter for Vancouver in his last season of baseball in 1951, joined with youngster Rod MacKay in four-hitting the Yakima Bears in a WIL exhibition game last night.
Vancouver ... 001 030 302—9 14 1
Yakima ...... 000 000 000—0 4 0
Nicholas, MacKay (5) and Pesut; Young, Edmunds (4) and Summers, Lane (8).

Tri-City 1954 Preview

Cleanup Hitter Is Big Need Of Tri-City’s WIL Squad
(Editor’s Note: This is one in a series on the prospects of the Western International League, written for The Associated Press by the sportswriters who follow the teams throughout the season).
Sports Editor, Tri-City Herald [April 25, 1953]
KENNEWICK, Wash. — The Tri-City Braves’ chances of winding up in the first division of the Western International Baseball League his season depend primarily upon jetting someone who can get more than one base per hit. And often.
The community-owned club, operating without higher classification tie-ups again this year, holds he contract of the man it believes can do the job. But so far the player has been extremely stubborn about signing.
He is Dick Greco, formerly of Tacoma but now of Vancouver. He is a long ball hitter and just what the Braves need for a clean-up man.
But Greco and Tri-City's new general manager Eddie Taylor, are miles apart on salary and the situation is further complicated by Greco's personal desire to play somewhere else—preferably Vancouver.
Greco alternately has offered to buy his own contract, withdrawn the offer, only to make it again. The last time around, Taylor took urn up on it but then named a price Greco feels is too high.
Sale Talked
A sale often has been talked but Taylor turns the offer down. He is willing to trade providing the Braves can get someone who can hit that long ball.
But at this date, Tri-City fans are wondering if their, club is going to have a cleanup man. Last season the Braves tied for top spot in batting, were second in total hits, but were at the bottom of the league in homers, triples and doubles. This added up to leading the league in the left-on-base column and eighth-place in both halves of the season.
Elsewhere around the field, the club appears in fair shape and far better off than it was at this time last year. In the catching spot will be Jack Warren, who led the league in hitting last year.
Probably second-stringing him will be Rube Johnson, a burly young catcher who hit 14 homers for Magic Valley in the Pioneer League last year.
Pesut Missing
Missing is Nick Pesut who was traded to Vancouver. Pesut’s departure leaves first baseman Vic Buccola as the only player left on the club of the group that came here from Wenatchee in 1951. Buccola hit .308 last year but lacks the power he had in former years. Defensively he led the league last season.
The two Trans, Len and Ray, will probably provide the second base - shortstop combination although Ray, the older of the two, may play fewer games.
Terry Carroll is one prospect for third base but it is possible that Tom Marier, a 1952 regular who missed last season because of an injured back, may yet sign his contract. He wants more money.
Des Charouhas, Yakima football coach Bob McGuire, Ernie Hockaday and playing manager Edo Vanni are all holdover outfielders but Bob Moniz, who was purchased from Portland recently, probably will hold one spot. Vanni isn't expected to play much and Hockaday may be converted to an infielder.
Lots of Pitchers
Whatever the pitching staff lacks in power is made up in numbers. Earlier this year, Tri-City had 14 hurlers under contract. Holdovers who probably will win regular assignments are Don Robertson (14-9), Dale Bloom (7-11), and reliefer Jess Dobernic (13-7).
Added to this trio are John (Bud) Guldborg, 5-6 with Vancouver last year; Dale Thomason, 5-7 with Vancouver last season; Larry Richardson, on option from the Chicago Cubs chain, and Earl Lemieux, a left-handed rookie.
There is a possibility Bob Snyder (15-19) will return to the Braves. Seattle rookie Chris Mezich also will try for a pitching spot.

Salem 1954 Preview

New Salem Mixture In Need of Pitching
(Editor’s Note: This is one in a series on the prospects of the Western International League, written for The Associated Press by the sportswriters who follow the teams throughout the season).
Sports Editor, Sports Editor, Capitol Journal [April 25, 1954]
SALEM, Ore.—Manager Harvey Storey is stirring up a potion of half veterans and half rookies or limited service players in the bailiwick of the Salem Senators.
But even by skimming off the best of the brew he feels the Solons must have more strong-armed pitchers to do more than fight for the first division.
Storey, at 37 with 18 seasons behind him which include 11 in the Pacific Coast League, hopes to equal the .343 he hit in 140 games as player-manager of Vancouver last year. He will be stationed at third base.
The soft-spoken manager takes over from a mutual admirer, Hugh Luby, the second baseman, who has packed away his glove after 22 seasons of organized baseball in favour of the Salem general managership. It is through Luby’s connections with Sacramento that the Senators hope to strengthen the sinews of their pitching arms.
The quality of the goods thrown from the mound this spring has been both good and bad, the good coming from Jim Petersen, Jack Hemphill, Larry Borst and Bob McFarlane. Peterson appeared in eight games for Salem last year; McFarlane had a 4-7 record for Salt Lake City; Hemphill, 15-12 for Salem in 1953, is stronger; and Borst, 7-8 for the Senators last season, is counted on to improve.
Moundsmen also here trying for one of the seven berths open are Ron Varnun, former Washington State College pitcher with semi-pro experience, and Bill Castell, on option from Sacramento after army service.
Due from Sacramento for trial are Johnny Briggs, 10-8 with Idaho Falls last year, ad Gene Johnson, 9-12 with Idaho Falls.
Lost from the hill are Joe Nicholas, 23-7, now with Portland; and Gene Roenspie, 19-5, now with Sacramento. Also sold from the 1953 team which won the first half is Les Witherspoon, the .331-hitting Negro outfielder.
Storey believes Salem has uncovered a gem in Mel Krause, 24, an Oregon high school coach available only for home games until school closes. Krause has shown he can do everything well and is ticketed for second base or shortstop.
Gene Tanselli weakened enough to agree to terms and will add his .295 calibre bat to the infield. He had been given a trial with Portland this spring. At first base is Chester Neal, who visited with Wenatchee for 15 games and hit .352 last year, then benefited Amarillo for .305 in 122 games.
Storey plans to complete his infield after experimenting at second base with Tanselli, Krause or Lou Scrivens. Scrivens was with Salem only seven games last spring. At shortstop there is Carl Belletti, a slick-fielding rookie optioned by San Diego. He must compete with the two who don’t make it at second.
The fly chasers are having to show their wares to play in the outfield. The .300-hitting Connie Perez has returned from Cuba to take left field again. A veteran of Class AA play, Bob Kellogg, is charted for centre field. He hit .296 for Colorado Springs in 1952 and sat out for semi-pro baseball last year.
Right field activity will be divided between Pete Estrada, a .314 hitter for Idaho Falls in 1953, and Chester Ashman, a strong-winged fielder who hit .272 for Salt Lake City.
The only two catchers in camp are Floyd Ogden and Bill Heisner, both handy receivers. Ogden hit .298 with Redding in 1951 and has been in the U.S. Army for two years. Heisner was with Vancouver in 1950 and Salt Lake City in 1951 before signing for two years in the army.

Spring Training, Sunday, April 25, 1954

No-Hitter Pitched By Flinn, Drilling; Fan Treat Tuesday
[Victoria Colonist, April 25, 1954]
Right-handers Hal Flinn and Bob Drilling combined to pitch a no-run, no-hit game at Royal Athletic Park yesterday afternoon as Victoria Tyees of the Western International League made it three in a row over Farmer Construction with a thumping 19-0 triumph.
Only 29 batters faced the pair and the last 20 went down in order with scarcely the semblance of a base hit as the Tyees began to show the benefits of spring training. Two infield errors put Flinn in a slight bit of trouble in the first inning and he walked third-baseman Stu Mitchell to open the third. Mitchell, wiped out immediately on a double-play, was the last of the losers to get on base.
Flinn struck out three in his five innings, while Drilling, pitching easily, struck out one as he set down the side in order in the last four innings.
Meanwhile, the Tyees, led by catcher Milt Martin, demonstrated some of the punch they are supposed to have as they combed southpaw Art Worth for 19 hits, including two home runs and three doubles.
Both home runs were lined over the centre-field wall by Martin, the first in the third inning as the lead-off hitter and the second with the bags loaded in the fifth. Martin also drove in two runs with a first-inning single to end up with seven runs batted in.
Starting off with five runs in the first inning and taking full advantage of nine bases on balls and four errors, the Tyees scored in six of the eight innings they went to the plate. Behind, 10-0, after three innings, Worth took it easy but it was a promising hitting display by the Tyees, who open the league schedule at Vancouver Thursday.
Art Seguso, playing first base for manager Don Pries, out of action for a couple of days with a strained back, picked up three singles in six trips while Ron Jackson, Tom Perez and Joe Joshua each made two hits.
Joshua was making his first appearance in the Tyee line-up along with outfielder Dain Clay and the big colored outfielder reminded fans of Granny Gladstone with his hard-swinging. Clay, lean as a greyhound and still plenty fast, doubled on the first pitch ad subsequently grounded and lined out before Pries made his wholesale line-up shifts after five innings.
Although it’s too early to tell, Pries may have started the lineup which will open the season, except, of course, for first base, where Pries will hold forth. Jackson, Eddie Lake, who looked smart at shortstop, and Steve Mesner completely the infield. Joshua, Perez, and Clay were in the outfield.
The Tyees play two games at Courtenay today and then wind up pre-season play against Farmers at Athletic Park on Tuesday night at 6:30.
There will be no admission charge for Tuesday’s game and club officials have invited Victorians to come and have a look at the team which will try to win a second championship in three years.
“The fans have turned out well for our other three games,” president Arthur Cox said yesterday, “and we would like to show our appreciation in this small way. We hope they will fill the park Tuesday.”


KENNEWICK, April 25 — Tri–City’s Braves closed out their spring training season Sunday with a 6-5 victory over the Yakima Bears, who literally kicked the game away with six errors that let in five unearned runs.
The Braves did all their scoring in the first two innings off John Carmichael. Vic Buccola’s triple in the first and Bob Moniz's double in the second were the big blows of the Tri-City attack. Jack Warren, the Braves' catcher, had a perfect day at the plate with three singles in three trips.
Yakima scored solo runs in the fourth and fifth, and then shoved over three unearned tallies in the seventh. Herm Lewis led the Bears with 2-for-5 and two runs batted in.
Yakima ..... 000 110 300—5 10 6
Tri-City ... 240 000 00x—6 10 1
Carmichael, Wulf (5), Carter (8) and Summers; Guldborg, Lemeiux (5), Robertson (8) and Warren, Johnson (7).

LEWISTON, Idaho, April 25—Lewiston’s defensive play wasn’t as good as John Marshall’s mound performance, and Vancouver evened its Western International League exhibition series here by defeating the Broncs 3-1 Sunday.
The teams met four times.
Jimmy Clark’s two-run double in the eighth inning was the deciding blow for the Vancouver team.
Vancouver ...... 000 100 020—3 9 2
Lewiston ........ 010 000 000—1 10 4
Marshall and Garay; Franks, Roberts (7) and Duretto.

SPOKANE, April 25 — The Spokane Indians finished one of the shortest pre-season baseball schedules on record Sunday by defeating the Fairchild Flyers 8-1. The game was the Indians’ first and last before they open their regular Western International season against Yakima here Thursday night.
John Anderson, John Trautwein, and Ralph Romero did the hurling for the Indians, blanking the Flyers until the ninth, when an error set up the lone Fairchild tally.
Will Hafey got the Tribe’s first hit of the year, a single in the third inning.
Fairchild ..... 000 000 001—1 5 4
Spokane ...... 004 101 20x—8 10 1
Scaglairina, Kern, Tobey and Johns, Hack; Anderson, Trautwein, Romero and Dean, Sack.

Spring Training, Saturday, April 24, 1954

Tyees Start Clay, Joshua In Game This Afternoon
[Victoria Colonist, April 24, 1954]
Outfielders Dain Clay and Joe Joshua, who arrived at the Victoria Tyee training camp Thursday, will make their first appearance before city baseball fans this afternoon when the Western International League club meets Farmers Construction in an exhibition game at Royal Athletic Park.
Clay, an ex-major leaguer, will open at right field while Joshua, a 200-pound colored infielder-outfielder who comes to the club on option from Seattle Rainiers, will start at left field. Manager Don Pries, who twisted his back and will be sidelined for three days, will throw a solid lineup against the crack city amateur team in the third meeting between the two clubs.
Hal Flinn, who pitched three innings of the first game, and holdover Bob Drilling will share the mound duties. Milt Martin will start behind the plate and Art Seguso will take over from Pries at first base.
Ron Jackson will start at second base, Steve Mesner at the short corner, Eddie Lake will be at shortstop and Tom Perez in centre field.
Farmers’ manager Ed Ash has nominated Art Worth as his starting pitcher and the Tyees can expect an argument there. Worth, an Edmonton holdout, worked the first four innings of the opening game and checked the Tyees effectively, giving up only one run.
Jim Harford will be Worth’s battery mate with Herb Wetherall at first base, Ronnie Martin at second, Lyle Cornett at shortstop and Stu Mitchell at third. Pete Ash and Ron Karadimas, who both missed Thursday’s game because of illness, will be at left and right field respectively with Bernie Anderson starting in centre field.
Game time is 2 p.m.

[Vancouver Province, April 24, 1954]
This week’s work, or, this is work (annual question)?
MONDAY—I’m afraid that California will be out as a spring training site for the Capilanos, at least until we get into the Coast League (in a couple of years, maybe) … the weather here in Clarkston, Wash., has been terrific, except for one day when it rained, and there’s been plenty of competition.
The club will be in top shape … a lot of the players, of course, had a few weeks in Palm Springs with Seattle Rainiers, and general manager Bill Brenner has seen to it that the rest of the squad gets its share of work … even before they start their day’s travel, when there’s an exhibition game, the lads get a workout for their legs … they dress at a beach house down on the Snake Riker, which runs between Lewiston and Clarkston, then they have to march straight up a mountain that leads to the ball park, which is a high school diamond, several blocks away … Just for variety, Brenner puts the boys through a “hot pot” game, in which you run to left for 10 feet, then to the right 10 feet, picking the ball up off the ground some 20 times … Try it with your grandmother some time … a little exercise in which you chase a ground ball near [unreadable] on the right side of second for the next one and repeat, will either get you in shape or kill you, too … only time the boys enjoy those routines is when Brenner’s turn comes around.
* * * *
TUESDAY—Favorite expression of one of the veterans on this ball club is “I’m a lover, not a fighter” … but the fact is, that nobody will have to be a fighter on this team, because none of the opposition is likely to be fool enough to choose anybody on the squad … take the tag team duo of Brenner and Nick Pesut, and 215-pounder Ellis Daugherty and a couple of musclemen like Dick Greco and Bob Wellman—all 6 feet 4½ inches of him—and you’ve got more muscles than Doug Hepburn displayed in Capilano Stadium last summer before he won the world weightlifting title … the club will never be accused of being dull, as last year’s team was, either … not with such as Ken Richardson, John Cordell, Pesut and Brenner on the team … staff clown, though, is K Chorlton, who puts on a better act that many so-called professional baseball clowns can muster …
* * * *
WEDNESDAY—About people: George Nicholas is a neighbor of Reg Wallis in Los Angeles … George says the ex-Capilano and Canuck hockey club trainer is happy in California and doing very well … Bud Guldborg, the former Caps’ pitcher who went to Tri-City in the deal that brought Pesut to Vancouver, has actually reported to the Braves … Bud has always had great stuff, but his attitude at times has been what is described in baseball as “R.A.” … ask me about that some time when we are alone … Al Heist, the outfielder Brenner was trying to get out of the Baltimore chain, has returned to Lewiston … They also have Jose Bache, whose big error in Vancouver in 1950 cost Tacoma the WIL pennant in the final series of the year.
* * * *
THURSDAY—Keith Matthews and I, the social lions of the Vancouver club, broke our string here today … things were so slow we went to a movie. A shoot ‘em up … (aside to our wives: we have been driving around in a hearse, courtesy of Tommy Merchant, a local mortician, but the only body we’ve had in it belongs to Marv Williams, who plays second base) … speaking of the social graces, we were all guests at a banquet tossed by the junior chamber of commerce here … everybody was supposed to get up and announce himself and his position on the club … When it came to Bob Duretto’s turn, Bob, the catcher-infielder deluxe said: “Bob Duretto, and I’d like to know where the hell I’m playing on this team, too.”
* * * *
FRIDAY—George Nicholas hasn’t changed a bit … He’s still the greatest money man in baseball … If he can’t take it with him, he won’t go … or report, as they say in baseball … several veterans on this team have volunteered the information that they will go all out for Bill Brenner, who got real good service out of a lot of veterans at Lewiston last year because he worked on the theory that they were old enough to think for themselves, off the field … One pitcher, who had a pretty good year, told us: “If Bill asked me what time I got in, and I honestly reported that I was in bed by 4 a.m., he’d always say that I just beat the curfew … He’s say the same thing if I got in at 6, providing I produced that night” … and we have the annual request from everybody: anybody got a house or an apartment? … Just phone FA 0101.

Vancouver ..... 003 100 001— 5 9 1
Lewiston ........ 501 000 23x—12 16 2
Brenner, Cordell (1), Del Sarto (6) and Duretto; Smith, Kime (6) and Cameron.

Spring Training, Friday, April 23, 1954

Holden Stages ‘Comeback’
By Clancy Loranger
[Vancouver Province, April 23, 1954]
CLARKSTON, Wash.—It takes two to tango, and on that premise the fight between two Vancouver boys, Arnie Hallgren and Danny Holden, for the rightfield spot on Vancouver Capilanos’ pro ball club had been strictly “no contest” until Thursday.
Holden, who had lost every round, got back into the battle Thursday when the Caps took Larson Air Force base into camp 8-3.
Danny accounted for five of the Vancouver runs with there home runs in as many times at bat. Two of them were hot shots into the rightfield stands, some 300 feet away, and the third cleared the centre fielder’s head.
But Hallgren didn’t give up without getting in a few licks of his own. He batted in the other three runs with a homer that cleared the leftfielder’s head, and hit another one a country mile, but it was caught.
Thursday’s performance was the first impressive one that Holden has turned in since we’ve watched him. On the basis of some eight years of pro experience, seven of them in class A baseball, he figured to beat out the relatively green Hallgren. But Arnie had the edge in all departments up to yesterday.
Both Vancouver outfielders could be in the lineup opening night, pending developments in the Bob Wellman-Dick Greco situations. General manager Bill Brenner received the Tri-City waivers request on Greco Thursday, but they have to be in effect for a week before any disposition can be made in his case. So if everything works out, big Richard could be a Capilano by opening night next Thursday.
One player, Gale Taylor who finished up for the Caps in left field last season, hitting .283, dropped out of outfield contention yesterday. Brenner announced that Taylor, catcher Don Lundberg and a pretty good shortstop, Elmer Clow, have been sold to Calgary.
The Caps have a day off from exhibition games today but they play Lewiston twice on the weekend, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon in Lewiston.

Tyees Trim City Nine, Pick Up Two Pitchers
[Victoria Colonist, April 23, 1954]
Victoria Tyees continued to grow in numbers yesterday as three players reported to manager Don Pries and general manager Ray Patterson announced the acquisition of two more pitchers.
Joining the club were shortstop Eddie Lake, who finally made his long-delayed appearance late Wednesday, outfielders Dane Clay and Joe Joshua.
Due to arrive next week are southpaw Bob Moen and righthander Jim Reynolds. Moen is due to report Monday on option from the Seattle Rainiers. A former University of Washington star, he has been with the Vancouver Capilanos for the last couple of weeks by the Caps are a bit overloaded with mound talent and the Tyees snapped the big rookie up when they got the chance. He is six feet one inch tall, weighs 195 pounds, and is highly regarded by the Rainiers.
Little is known of Reynolds except that he has had a couple of seasons in organized ball previously. Short of moundmen, the Tyees will give him every chance to make the club.
There was nothing definite from Portland yesterday but the Tyees are still hoping for mound help from the Beavers. And they also expect to get another pitcher from Seattle.
Lake and Clay, both ex-major league veterans, reported in good condition and should be ready to give their best licks by next Thursday when the Tyees start playing for keeps at Vancouver. Lake saw action last night for five innings as the Tyees trimmed Farmers Construction, 13-1, in their second exhibition game. Clay wasn’t used and Joshua showed up too late.
In contrast to Monday night’s game, when Art Worth and Lowell Hodges pitched well to make a 7-3 win hard-earned, the Tyees had a romp last night. However, while Farmers didn’t get much pitching, the Tyees looked a bit sharper at the plate and their pitchers had little trouble with the city amateurs.
Berlyn Hodges, Bill Prior and Mike Kanshin each pitched three innings for the Tyees. Hodges gave up no runs and three hits while striking out four and showing perfect control. Prior had a bit of trouble finding the plate and two of his four bases on balls plus his own errors on throws to second base gave Farmers their lone run. He gave up no hits and struck out five. Kanshin gave up one hit and one walk and whiffed five.
At the plate, the Tyees picked up 11 hits, including two doubles and a triple, a typical drive to his off-field by manage Don Pries. Art Seguso, with a line double that scored the game’s first run, two singles and four runs batted in, led the Tyees at the plate. Catcher Milt Martin was the only other player with more than two hits, singling sharply twice. Tom Perez hit a solid bases-loaded double to feature a six-run fourth inning.
Pries started with Martin behind the plate, himself at first base, Ron Jackson at second, Steve Mesner at third, Lake at shortstop and Seguso, Perez and Pepper Wasley in the outfield. A fifth-inning shift ended up with Tom Keough, Perez and Jerry Kane in the outfield, Jerry Parker at third, Primo Santini at shortstop, Jackson at second, Seguso at first and Armando Sanchez behind the plate.
Tyees continue their workouts today. Tomorrow afternoon, at 2, they play Farmers again. Then, it’s two games at Courtenay Sunday and a fourth game at Royal Athletic Park against Farmers Tuesday night. Wednesday sees the end of the pre-season drills and on Thursday it’s the league opener.

Capilanos Strong Threat for WIL Crown; Tyees To Face Veteran Line-Up in Opener
[Victoria Colonist, April 23, 1954]
Vancouver Capilanos, who had a disastrous season last year, both financially and in a playing way, will probably start the 1954 season as favourites to win at least once in the Western International League’s split season.
With Bill Brenner, who performed the same chores at Lewiston in 1953, serving in the triple role of general manager, field manager and star right-handed pitcher, the Caps have come up with a veteran club which appears to have plenty of power, adequate defense, and excellent pitching.
In the infield, the Caps have only one returning player but he is Jimmy Clark, former Victoria Tyee who has been the league’s top shortstop for the past two seasons. At third base is veteran Kenny Richardson, who drove in 106 runs and batted .301 for Lewiston last season. Marvin Williams, veteran colored smoothie who used to play in the Coast League is the second baseman and comes to the WIL with the reputation of being a dangerous hitter. At first base is Ellis Daugherty, a big lefthander who hit .290 with Topeka in the Western Association last season. Holdover Jack Bukowatz may stick around as a utility player.
K. Chorlton will be in centre-field and the speedster, who once played for Victoria, can be counted on to hit in the .300s and give the Caps standout defensive play. Arnie Hallgren, Vancouver high school product who received a healthy bonus from Boston Braves a couple of years ago, has been optioned to the Caps and may win a regular berth. Vancouver-born Danny Holden, who has played for several years in the class “A” Western League, is another outfield prospect while Bob Duretto, who will also be the club’s second-string catcher, can be used in the outfield.
In addition, the Caps are expecting to get Lloyd Jenney and are hoping to get Bob Wellman from the Seattle Rainiers. Jenney was a teammate of Victoria’s Joe Joshua at Tucson in the class “C” Arizona-Texas League last season and batted .367 with 24 home runs, 13 triples and 47 doubles, 164 runs scored and 152 runs batted in to his credit.
Wellman, still with Seattle and due for a longer look, could make the Caps top-heavy favorites. Playing with Yakima Bears last season, he batted .350 and drove in 112 runs, hit 26 home runs and 39 doubles.
Behind the plate, the Caps have Nick Pesut, the gravel-voiced veteran from Tri-City Braves who hit .288 last season.
Brenner, a 22-game winner last season, heads a standout mound staff which also includes Pete Hernandez, an 18-game winner in 1953 with the Caps; Bob Roberts, 10-5 with the Caps last season; Herman [sic] Franks, a 13-game winner with Spokane last season; Tom DelSarto, a 9-12 southpaw with Yakima in 1953; veteran southpaw John Cordell, 9-7 with Spokane last season, who figures to be the club’s relief reliable; right-hander George Nicholas, who used to be a big winner in the WIL until he gave the game up temporarily two seasons back; Bill Tompkins, a promising rookie, and Vancouver-youngster Rod McKay [sic], who showed a lot of promise in 19 games with the Caps last season.
That’s the line-up which Victoria Tyees will run u against at least 26 times this season, starting Thursday in the league opener.


KENNEWICK, April 23—Tri-City jumped on Jack Martin for six runs in the first six innings and went on to an 8-5 victory over the Lewiston Broncs in a Western International League exhibition baseball game Friday.
The win earned the Braves an even split in the four-game pre-season series between the two teams.
Tri-City’s big blow was a two-run homer in the sixth by Ernie Hockaday that pushed across what proved to be the winning tally.
Lewiston got only one extra-base hit off Ted Savarese, who went all the way for the Braves. It was a double by Nick Cannuli, Al Heist with 3-for-3, and Joe Bache, with 3-for-5, led the Bronc attack.
Tri-City moves to Yakima Saturday for an exhibition series with the Bears.
Lewiston .... 030 020 000—5 12 1
Tri-City ..... 040 002 11x—8 12 2
Martin, Tench (7) and Garay; Savarese and Warren.

Yakima 1954 Preview

Yakima Bears New to Circuit; Guess on Result Shot in Dark
(Editor's Note: This is one in a series on the prospects of the Western International Baseball League, written for The Associated Press by sports writers who follow the teams throughout the season).
Sports Editor
Yakima Daily Republic
YAKIMA, April 22 — The Bears Yakima will send out in quest of the Western International League pennant late this month are so new to the circuit that any guess as to their final standing would be a random shot in the dark.
Outside of the pitching staff, the Bears will take the diamond with only two players who were members of the 1953 club and only five who were in the league at any time previously.
The two 1953 leftover Bears are Len Noren, the first baseman who batted .327, and Herman Lewis, the outfielder who hit only .283, but was among the league's runs-batted-in leaders with 106 and also well up in total bases with 253.
Mead Hard Hitter
One player with previous WIL experience is Charlie Mead. As a Calgary player in 1953, he led the circuit in home runs, 26, and runs batted in, 116, while compiling a .328 average. Others are Mike Catron, a third baseman who played with Tacoma three years ago, and Dick Briskey, the one-time star Yakima shortstop who had several trials with the San Francisco Seals.
Noren will be at first, Lewis in center or right, Mead in left and Catron possibly at third when the season opens.
Lou Stringer, the new manager who spent a half dozen years in the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox, probably will be at second base when the curtain is rolled up, but thereafter the lineup presents number of question marks.
Two players have been showing at shortstop during the spring training games. They are Briskey and John Wesley Walker, a rookie just out of Fresno State College.
Now a new aspirant is entering the shortstop battle. He is Pete Gomez, a Cuban who first saw service in organized baseball at Washington's Southern Assn. farm at Chattanooga in 1943. If he could hit the .310 credited to him in the Mexican Winter League in its 1953-54 season he would be hard to keep out of the position as he is an exceptionally brilliant fielder with a rifle arm.
Player Returns
The club has only one more infield aspirant—Chuck LaGrace, who returned to baseball this season after a year on the shelf after breaking a leg while trying out with Sacramento in the spring of 1953.
The outfield is shallow in talent. Outside of Lewis and Mead, there is, only one outfielder in camp—Ernie Sites, a veteran who is back in organized baseball after one season in Western Oregon's Lumber League. He will be in either right or center field if not beaten out by John Popovich, who batted .279 in the Arizona-West Texas League and has been promised the Bears on option from the Seattle Rainiers.
Stringer believes the Bears’ strongest point this season will be their catching. Expected to do most of it is Lonnie Summers, who as late as 1952 caught 130 games for the San Diego Padres. The Bear pilot says Summers “has no business being out of the Coast League.”
Seeking the No. 2 position are Charlie Ling and Stanley Fleishman, a pair of rookies from Massachusetts and Portland, respectively. However, they may be pushed aside by Jim Watson, a catcher-outfielder purchased from the Chicago White Sox farm chain during the winter. He is regarded as an exceptionally good hitter.
Pitching Question
The pitching staff is a big question mark. Danny (The Lion) Rios, the one-tune pride of Mexico who won 19 games while losing 10 for the Bears last season; Ted Edmunds, who had a 9-6 record, and Dick Young, who as a rookie finished with 2-0, are the only pitchers on hand who finished the 1953 season with the Bears. Don Carter, who won 10 while losing nine in 1953, is expected to join the ciub this week after being a holdout.
Other candidates are: Jack Schaening, who had a 10-4 record in the Longhorn League in 1953, Gene Wulf, who won 20 and lost 9 in the same league; Ray Machado, who Bad 17 victories in three lower classification leagues in 1953: John Carmichael, who went 10-8 for Reading in the Eastem League; Vertis Elmore, a rookie just back from military service; Glen Hyatt, who was with Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League two years ago. and Marion Blank, former Yakima Valley Junior College ace signed last season.
Even newer than most of the players is the ownership and front office management. The owners are some 400 fans who purchased the club from Frederick Mercy Jr. during the winter and placed the presidency and general managership in the hands of Orin E. (Babe) Hollingbery.

Spring Training, Thursday, April 22, 1954

Greco May Be Cap Yet
Tri-City Calls For Waivers

[Vancouver Province, April 22, 1954]
CLARKSTON, Wash.—Vancouver Capilanos won another ball game Wednesday, trodding on Larson air force base, 11-3. But that was item No. 5 in the news department. The big four:
1. Dick Greco has re-entered the Caps’ “outfield stake” race.
2. Seattle Rainiers have suddenly decided they like outfielder Bob Wellman and have decided to keep him, temporarily anyway.
3. Seattle won’t be sending us pitcher Pete Hernandez, but they’ve promised to ship along another.
4. The coast league club is sending catcher-outfielder Lloyd Jenney to Vancouver option. He’ll join the club here immediately.
The Greco story is intriguing. The muscular slugger and erstwhile WIL homerun king has said all along he wouldn’t report to the Tri-City Braves, who own his contract. Dick, whose wife is a British Columbia girl, want to play for the Caps and nobody else.
Eddie Taylor, Tri-City general manager, has been asking $3500 for Greco, for whom he paid $1500. The result was a stalemate, with the Caps unwilling to go that high and Greco refusing to report to Tri-City.
Finally, Greco appealed to Bob Abel WIL president who ruled as follows: Tri-City have 36 hours in which to ask for waivers on Greco. If nobody picks up the waivers, Greco will then present Taylor with his personal cheque for $3500 and obtain his release. Then, of course, he’d be free to sign with Vancouver.
There’s always the chance, though, that somebody might claim Greco. In that case, Taylor would probably have to withdraw the waivers and Greco would be right where he is now, on the suspended list.
The Caps will need Greco if they don’t get Wellman. The latter has been counted on as the club’s No. 4 hitter and power man, a position that Greco would fit just as well. If Vancouver ends up with both of them, that duo would create a lot of havoc with the city big bats. If they don’t get either they will still have protection in the garden with Arnie Hallgren, Danny Holden, Jenney and Bob Duretto available as flankers for K. Chorlton in centre.
General manager Bill Brenner said that his Seattle counterpart, Dewey Soriano, would not tell him who the pitcher is he’d send instead of Pete Hernandez, but it won’t be Lonnie Myers or Van Fletcher. It’s somebody who has never been in the WIL before, Brenner said.
Jenney, who is not a negro as was earlier reported, is said to be a good hitter, but the gen is that he can’t throw. A .367 hitter last ear with Tucson, he plays outfield, catches and can also play first base.
The Caps didn’t get much competition here yesterday, and most of the regulars left early. The air men play the Caps again here today.

Tyees Get Outfielder; Play Farmers Tonight
[Victoria Colonist, April 22, 1954]
Another player was acquired and a needed pitcher reported yesterday as Victoria Tyees went through their eighth day of spring training at Royal Athletic Park. And as far as could be learned last night, there was still no sign of Eddie Lake, who will be the club’s shortstop this season—if he gets here by opening day.
Latest acquisition is Joe Joshua, a 200-pound colored infielder-outfielder who comes to the club on option from the Seattle Rainiers. Joshua, who is due in today from Seattle, played for Tucson in the class “C” Arizona-Texas League last season and compiled an impressive record.
Appearing in 135 games, 120 as a shortstop and 15 as an outfielder, Joshua connected for 194 hits in 540 times at bat to post a .359 batting average. Among his hits were 29 home runs, nine triples and 32 doubles and he drove in 128 runs and scored 164. Another pleasing statistic shows evidence of speed in the fact that he stole 39 bases.
That was Joshua’s second season in the league. In 1952, playing with Phoenix, he had a .334 average with 145 hits in 434 times at bat. He scored 110 runs, stole 43 bases, drove in 87 runs, and hit 11 home runs, nine triples and 22 doubles. He also played in four positions—55 games at shortstop, 35 at first base, 16 at third base, and 11 in the outfield.
Acquistion of Joshua just about completes the Tyees’ roster, except for the pitching staff, although the club certainly wouldn’t turn down a standout outfielder who swings from the first-base side of the plate.
As matters now stand, manager Don Pries will have seven infielders and seven outfielders from which to choose when everyone has reported and it would appear that the Tyees are set except for pitching.
In addition to Pries, there are Steve Mesner, Ron Jackson, and rookies Primo Santini, Pepper Wesley and Jerry Parker for infield duty. Joshua will be used in the outfield, where Dain Clay, Tom Perez, Art Seguso, Armando Sanchez, Tom Keough and Jerry Kane are other candidates.
Of the above, only Parker hits lefthanded and it could be that the Tyees will field an all-right-handed batting order. On the other hand, there is versatility needed in minor league baseball. Both Joshua and Perez can play in the infield and Pries has done everything but catch for the club in three previous seasons. Both Sanchez and Kane can fill in acceptably as understudy for catcher Milt Martin so that the Tyees, if they wish, can go this season with only nine players outside of pitchers and not worry unduly about an injury to a regular.
Pitching, however, remains a problem. On hand are holdover Bob Drilling, Bill Prior and Berlyn Hodges, and newcomers Hal Flinn, Mike Kanshin and Don Smith, a rookie southpaw from Fairbanks, Alaska, who showed up yesterday. However, Portland Beavers will send help this week, probably in the persons of John Tierney and Bill Bottler, both of whom have seen service here previously. And the Tyees have the promise of another hurler from a WIL club before the opener at Vancouver next Thursday.
GAME AT 6:30
Tonight, the Tyees will meet Farmers Construction at Royal Athletic Park for the second time. They got into an argument Monday before coming out on top, 7-3. Game time is 6:30 and Pries will again give everyone in camp a chance to show his wares.


CLARKSTON, April 22 — Four Vancouver home runs—three of them by Danny Holden—helped the Western International Leaguers batter Larson Air Force Base of Moses Lake 8-3 in a seven inning exhibition baseball game Thursday.
Larson ....... 001 001 1—3 5 0
Lewiston ... 034 010 x—8 11 2
Dewitt, Scesa (3) and Ziemer, Nelson (3); Moen, Tompkins (6) and Lundberg.

KENNEW1CK, April 22 — Lewiston bunched its hits to beat Tri-City 8-4 in a Western International League exhibition game Thursday and take a 2-1 lead in their four-game series.
Al Heist, Lewiston centerfielder, homered in the first with none on base and also got a double and single in four other times at bat for batting honors. Rube Johnson, Tri-City catcher, hit a home run with one on in the first inning to tally two of his team's runs.
Chris Mezich, rookie pitcher from Seattle, took the mound for Tri-City in the fifth for his first professional baseball. He hit the first batter and next allowed a double but then settled down.
Lewiston .... 021 012 008—8 7 3
Tri-City ..... 220 000 000—4 7 3
Tisnerat, Kinsey (8) and Cameron; Richardson, Mezich (8), Guldborg (9) and Johnson and McCarroll (8).

Edmonton 1954 Preview

Edmonton Appears Formidable Again for WIL Baseball Year
(Editor’s Note: This is one in a series on the prospects of the Western International Baseball League, written for The Associated Press by sports writers who follow the teams throughout the season).
The Edmonton Journal
EDMONTON, Alta., April 21 — Edmonton’s Eskimos, resurrected to campaign in the Western International League after a baseball holiday of more than 30 years, stir in 1953 when created quite a stir when they were contenders all the way.
When the New York Yankees chipped in to help John Ducey, Esks general manager, with the organization of the club they warned him not to expect too much of a team starting from scratch. Bobby Sturgeon, former National League shortstop with the Cubs and Braves, was hired as playing manager. No two members of the team he assembled for the spring practice had ever played together.
Beaten in Close Race
Yet they were beaten out by Salem in a photo-finish in the first half of the season and finished right on the pace in the second half running second to Salem for the entire season.
As for Edmonton fans, they took the Esks to their hearts and led the league in attendance in spite of bad weather and an August plague of mosquitos.
Club officials look for an even better showing at the gate this year. One big reason will be the completion of a new covered grandstand to replace one razed by fire four years ago. Renfrew Park, home of the Eskimos, now will seat more than 6.500, with space left for bleachers if needed.
With respect to manpower, the team appears more formidable than it was in 1953.
Dick Morgan, a .300 hitter whose s brother to Yankee pitcher Tom Morgan, is back for another year as catcher, with holdover Red Prentice and Yankee farmhand Tommy Self as understudy.
24-Game Winner
John Conant—a 24-game winner—Jack Widner, Larry Manier and Ray McNulty have been retained from last year's mound staff, although McNulty was a holdout of this writing.
Additions in the pitching department are Dale Kittle. Frank Cirimeli and Chuck Le Brun, obtained through the Yanks, and Southpaws Art Worth and Pete Boisvert. The former was purchased from Spokane and the latter recruited at Trail, B C.
Whitey Thomson, a brilliant glove man. is guarding the short patch again and Sturgeon will be available for utility service there if he's beaten out at second. The Yanks have sent in Dwayne Kling to scrap for the third base job with holdover Sammy Kanelos.
The club still is hunting a replacement for Clint Weaver at first after his sale to St Paul. Fleet veteran Andy Skurski and Vern Campbell are returnees in the outfield. Bob Brown, with Phoenix last year, is a Canadian-born addition to the garden crew.

Spring Training, Wednesday, April 21, 1954

Cap Power More Potent This Term, Broncs Find
(Province Sports Writer) [April 21, 1954]
LEWISTON—Idaho—It’s baseball practice, before each new series, to go over the opposition hitters and discuss how to pitch to them.
Last year, when Vancouver Capilanos came to town, the meetings were pretty short. The opposition manager would say “Harvey Storey, low and behind him is his weakness.” Then he’d look over the rest of the batting order and say, “Let’s go.”
But those meetings should take a little longer this year. The Caps, it would appear, have more than a one-man attack.
That was the impression gained here Tuesday when Bill Brenner’s boys took on Lewiston Broncs. The Caps won 11-8, and in the doing rapped out 16 base hits, including four home runs and four doubles.
Leading the parade, again, was new second baseman Marvin Williams who wrested two tremendous wallops over the 330-foot left field barrier, and added a double for good measure, too, as he batted home five runs.
Vancouver’s Arnie Hallgren furthered his bid for the right field job with another of the home runs—his second since he joined the team—and Ellis Daughtery, finally looking like the hitter he was alleged to be, contributed the fourth.
The Caps’ 3-4-5 hitters, Williams, Daughtery and Ken Richardson, split 10 hits among ‘em, Richardson getting four of the five.
Add a fellow like Bob Wellman (.350 last season) to that group, and you’re liable to have the pitcher’s union picketing you for unfair tactics.
DIAMOND DUST – A lot of the damage the Caps did was against John Marshall, a 21-game winner last year … Vancouver’s pitching was done by Tom Del Sarto, Bill Tompkins and Rod MacKay … Half of Lewiston’s runs came off Tompkins, who lasted less than an inning … Danny Holden continued to have a miserable time, striking out three times and adding an error in left field … The squad was cut by one more man when Chuck Lundgren was recalled by Seattle …
The Caps have a game in Clarkston, Wash., today against Larsen Air Force Base, with Bob Moen and Baz Nagle possible pitching candidates.

Unexpected Arrivals Welcomed by Tyees
[Victoria Colonist, April 21, 1954]
Victoria Tyees, still awaiting expected help, received an unexpected reinforcement yesterday when Tom Perez showed up at Royal Athletic Park and took part in yesterday’s spring-training program.
Perez, a service returnee owned by the San Francisco Seals who can play both in the infield and outfield, hadn’t been expected although his name had been mentioned in talks with the San Francisco management. On being told by the Seals that he would probably be sent to Victoria, he left immediately by car with Mrs. Perez and arrived here yesterday morning, Needless to state, he was welcomed.
Before entering the service, Perez played a season with Visalia in the California State League in 1949. Appearing in the outfield in 111 games and at third base for 28 games, he hit 24 home runs and 21 doubles while compiling a .311 batting average for 511 at bats.
While in the U.S. Army, he played for the championship Fort Ord team. Discharged last year, he played with Macon in the Class “A” Sally League, getting into 38 games at third base and playing 43 in the outfield. He has been with the Seals in spring training and handled himself well yesterday in infield drills. If he proves he can hit WIL pitching, he will fit into the Tyee plans with his ability to play the outfield and give the club infield protection at the same time.
Perez’ arrival boosted the Tyee personnel to 16 players and two or three more are expected today. Veteran-outfielder Dane Clay is due in and shortstop Eddie Lake may also make it. Lake, it appears, has been ducking as much of spring training as possible but promised manager Don Pries yesterday that he would be on his way the minute he could get a plane from Oakland. Also expected in is Don Smith, big southpaw rookie from Fairbanks.
Other player news was still awaiting confirmation yesterday. Portland officials were tied up with the Beavers’ home opener but it shouldn’t be later than tomorrow before the Tyees know for certain just what to expect from the Coast League club. Two or three deals are also ready to be completed.
Tyees will continue their workouts today with their second exhibition game with Farmers Construction scheduled for Royal Athletic Park tomorrow at 6:30. The same clubs meet again Saturday afternoon and on Sunday it’s off to Courtenay for two games there.

Tri-City, Yakima Request Rejected
VANCOUVER, B. C., April 22—British Empire Games officials have been turned down by Tri-City and Yakima of the Western International League on a request to reschedule baseball contests here during games week July 30-Aug. 7.
Bill Brenner, general manager of the Vancouver Capilanos, told games executives Wednesday that he had talked to the two U. S. clubs and was told there were “so many problems that rearrangement is not possible.”
The executive had asked Capilanos to reschedule the two series to follow the actions of other sports which have rearranged or cancelled contests games week.


MODESTO, Calif., April 21 — Bunching eight of 10 hits in two innings, the Modesto Reds of the California League ran over the Edmonton Eskimos of the Western International loop, 7-1, Wednesday night in an exhibition contest.
Edmonton Manager Bob Sturgeon, ex-Boston Brave and Chicagp Cub, was held hitless.
It was a 0-0 duel until the fourth. Then the Reds' bats, which had been on the weak side, came to life. Bobby Dallas, Frank Kerr, Ted Bell and Earl Mortenson rapped out singles. and three runs were scored.
The Modestans saved up four more of their hits until the eighth, when they pushed across the other four runs.
Edmonton ..... 000 001 000—1 3 0
Modesto ...... 000 300 040—7 10 0
Conant, Widner (6) and Prentice; Mortensen, Roval (6), Stanich (9) and Keir.

CLARKSTON, Wash., April 21—Triples by Nick Pesut and Arnie Hallgren helped Vancouver of ihe Western International League, defeat Larson Air Force Base 11-3 in exhibition baseball Wednesday.
Larson ......... 210 000 0— 3 6 5
Vancouver ... 212 402 x—11 14 1
Mason, Sherwinsky (5) and Nelson; Nagle, Cordell (5) and Pesut, Lundberg (5).

FRESNO, Calif., [Fresno Bee, April 22]—Pinch hitter Bob Thair smashed a 410-foot inside-the-park homer run with one out in the last of the ninth inning last [Wednesday] night to give Fresno State College Bulldogs a 5 to 4 exhibition victory over the Calgary Stampeders in FSC Park.
The well played game last night was witnessed by only a couple of hundred fans but had one of the most dramatic endings of any game this season.
Fresno trailed 4 to 3 going into the last of the ninth. Jack Hannah led off with a walk. Dan Farris bunted but Calgary manager Gene Lillard cut down Hannah at second base. Bill Pearson was inserted to run for Farris.
Phair hit the third pitch solidly on a line corner of right center field. Phair rounded the bases while the Stampeders' desperate relay to the plate was late.
FSC Scores Two In 7th
Fresno was behind, 4 to 1, going into the seventh but rallied for two runs in that frame. Hannah led off with a walk and first sacker Farris lined a triple to left center field. Farris scored on George DeLaTorres’ high hopper to shortstop.
Calgary starting pitcher Bill Kapp held the Bulldogs well in check for the first six frames—giving up one run on six scattered hits. Bill Stites was the victim of the late inning uprisings.
Fresno scored once in the fifth on a double by Hannah and a single by DeLaTorre.
Calgary started fast against Fresno freshman lefthander Bobby Doig but the ex Roosevelt ace settled down after the first frame and pitched brilliant ball for the next four innings.
Stampeders Start Fast
The Stampeders collected three runs in the first on three walks, a triple by outfielder Bill Kahler and a double steal. From the second through the fifth frame Doig held the Canadians to one single.
Orland (Bud) Mecham, freshman righthander from San Diego, pitched the final four frames for Fresno and turned in one of his best jobs of the year. Singles by Kapp and Jim Stack and a fielder's choice accounted for one run in the seventh.
Calgary made only two hits off Mecham in four innings and he walked only two batters.
DeLaTorre with two singles was the only player on either team with more than one hit.

YAKIMA, April 21 — Shutting off a last-inning Yakima rally, the Tri-City Braves handed the Bears their fourth straight exhibition baseball defeat Wednesday, 9-8.
Tri-City had started a rally of its own in the fifth inning, trailing 2-1, when Yakima’s relief pitcher, John Carmichael, gave up three runs on four hits.
The Braves got five more hits off Carmichael in the final three innings for five runs.
The Bears rallied in the ninth as pinch-hitter Dennis Bell walked to first. Singles by Ernie Sites and Herm Lewis followed, but Charlie Mead's fly out to center field ended the burst at two runs.
Catcher Jack Warren of Tri-City led the hitting with two singles and a double in four trips to the plate.
Tri-City ..... 010 030 221—9 10 3
Yakima ....... 020 004 002—8 11 1
Robertson, Thomason (8) and Warren; Rios, Carmichael (5) and Summers.

Spring Training, Tuesday, April 20, 1954

Vics Face Caps Hill Ace In Opener
[Vancouver Province, April 20, 1954]
CLARKSTON, Wash.—Opening night for the pro baseball Capilanos in 1953 was a nightmare that haunted them for the rest of the season. The 3000-odd fans who turned up could have forgotten about the fact they were freezing to death if the Caps had been winning.
But they not only weren’t winning, they looked awful as they took an 8-0 drubbing from Lewiston Broncs. They couldn’t hit, they couldn’t field—in fact, they couldn’t do anything right, and they didn’t live it down for months.
General manager Bill Brenner remembers that night, because at the time he was managing Lewiston. Naturally, he’s determined that there won’t be a repeat performance this year.
He had some time to think about it here Monday, when his exhibition game with Lewiston was rained out. So—he had a couple of announcements to make regarding opening night, April 29, against Victoria Tyees.
First off, he’s pitching the ace that night: fellow named Brenner, who won 22 games last year.
The weather he can’t guarantee, but just in case Victoria should do a Lewiston act, Bill has plans for another act he hopes will keep the folks off their hands. On hand, Bill hopes, will be a big name from the baseball or entertainment world to add a little opening night lustre.
Brenner tried to get Joe DiMaggio (preferably with Marilyn), but Joe couldn’t make it. Ty Cobb is a candidate, too, but he’s a hard man to find. Also on the list is Bob Hope. Anyway, somebody will be along. The wires are humming.
Another early season attraction will be Seattle Rainiers, who’ll be along on May 3 this year. Brenner says he’s going to pitch in that one, too.
DIAMOND DUST – Brenner lost a lefthander Monday … He got word that Raul Galata, his Mexican southpaw, tired of trying to fight his way through the immigration curtain, had decided to forget the whole thing … Galata will play ball for Vera Cruz in Mexico … George Nicholas arrived and got in his first workout Monday before the rain came … He looks in good shape. Tom Del Sarto, scheduled to pitch Monday, will be on the mound today when the Caps tackle the Broncs again at Lewiston. Brenner is dickering with Bob Brown at Calgary and should have a shipment of his surplus players for Bob soon

Good Crowd on Hand To Watch Tyees Win
[Victoria Colonist, Tuesday, April 20, 1954]
There was considerable evidence of renewed baseball interest at Royal Athletic Park last night at 562 paying fans plus more than 100 youngsters turned out despite bitter cold to watch the Victoria Tyees play their first spring training exhibition game.
Pitted against Farmers Construction in the sixth day of spring training, the Tyees didn’t get much wood on the ball and had to struggle to come out on top, 7-3, on the strength of a four-run rally in the eighth inning. But playing in weather fit only for hockey and under the lights for the first time were certainly extenuating circumstances for both clubs.
Tyee manager Don Pries used all of his 15 players with only himself, Armando Sanchez, Art Seguso, Milt Martin and Primo Santini playing the full nine innings. The Tyees pitching staff—all four of them—saw action.
Hal Flinn, who reported yesterday from the San Francisco Seals went the first three innings, while Mike Kanshin, Bill Prior and Berlyn Hodges each worked two innings.
Flinn gave up two hits and one run in his stint, Drilling one hit and one run, Prior no hits and one unearned run, and Hodges pitched scoreless and hitless baseball. Farmers got three hits.
On the other hand, the Tyees got plenty of argument from lefthander Art Worth, who pitched for Spokane last season and is now an Edmonton holdout. Worth looked smart in a four-inning job as he struck out three and walked two. However, his two bases on balls came together in the third inning along with a single to Ron Jackson, the only hit off worth, to give the Tyees their first run.
Lowell Hodges pitched the last four innings for Farmers and stayed right in the game until the eighth, when two bases on balls, a double by Martin, a triple by Tom Keough, and an error broke the game wide open.
Up until the eighth the Tyees were never ahead and were behind by one run three times. Ed Ash has come up with a good-looking amateur club which, given pitching, should provide some good competition for the Tyees in future games. Shortstop Lyall Cornett and third-baseman Stu Mitchell both fielded well and Farmers gave away only the last run as they made the Tyees work to get the verdict.
Martin was the only Tyee to get more than one hit, nothing a fifth-inning single in addition to his double, which was the first well-hit ball off either Worth or Lowell Hodges. Worth hit a double for Farmers while centerfielder Bernie Anderson of the losers made a fine catch of an extra-base bid by Santini for the game’s top defensive play.
The two teams meet again Thursday night at 6:30.
On Sunday, the Tyees played an inter-squad game more for the batting practice than anything else. Pitchers were instructed to stay away from anything but fast balls as The Hodges beat The Drillings, 5-3, in an eight-inning game. Pepper Wesley, youthful colored infielder, caught the eye in this one by connecting for two doubles and turning in a couple of fine defensive plays.
Manpower troubles should be straightened out well before the week is out. Eddie Lake, veteran shortstop, has promised to be on hand no later than Wednesday, the same day that Dain Clay, veteran outfielder, is expected. Don Smith, the big Fairbanks southpaw, is due today and the Tyees expect to find out tonight just what they can expect from the Portland Beavers. They are also deciding whether or not to sign a pitcher named Jim Reynolds and hope to be able to announce another acquisition or two from another Coast League club.


KENNEWICK, April 20 — The Tri-City Braves exploded with eight runs in the first inning for impetus, then slugged along to a 16-8 Western International League exhibition baseball victory over Yakima Tuesday.
Six hits and three Yakima errors helped compile the eight – run frame.
Yakima's catcher Lon Summers hit a home run in the fifth.
Bob Moniz of Tri-City had a fat day at the plate, getting five hits in six times at bat, including three doubles.
Yakima ....... 201 011 120— 6 13 3
Tri-City ..... 030 032 00x—16 17 4
Elmore, Edmunds (2) and Summers; Lemieux, Bloom (6) and Johnson, Carroll (7)

LEWISTON, Idaho, April 20 — Vancouver's power packed lineup rapped four home runs to defeat Lewiston 11-3 in an exhibition game between the two Western International League teams Tuesday.
Marvin Williams, the Caps second baseman, slugged two of the homers, driving in five runs. Arnie Hallgren. Milwaukee bonus baby outfielder on option to Vancouver, and Ellis Daugherty, first baseman, collected the other circuit clouts.
Vancouver ... 041 300 102—11 16 1
Lewiston .... 101 140 100— 8 11 1
Delsarto, Tompkins (5), MacKay (5) and Duretto; Marshall, Durganc (8) and Garay.

MODESTO, April 20—The Modesto Reds of the California League scored a 6-5 exhibition victory over the Wenatchee Chiefs of the Western International League last night as-pinch hitter Jim Yarber banged out a double in the last of the ninth that scored two runs.
Vern Richert of Wenatchee was the big man at the plate for the Chiefs with a homer with one man on in the first inning.

VISALIA, Tulare Co. [Fresno Bee, April 21, 1953]—The Edmonton Eskimos of the Western International Class A League walloped the Visalia Cubs, of the class C California League, 16 to 6, in a baseball game here, last [Tuesday] night.
Don Gigli, Edmonton shortstop belted a three run homer in the sixth inning to pace the Eskimo attack.
Galen Bowman provided some Cub cheer with a two-run double in the second inning.
Edmonton ...... 322 003 105—16 13 2
Visalia ....... 023 010 000— 6 8 3
Miner and Self; Preston, Williams (4) and Arnold.