Thursday, 24 July 2008

Dewey, Leavem and Howe

Soriano Boosted to Seattle GM Post;
‘New Deal’ Expected for Caps in Future Tradings
[Vancouver News-Herald, Sept. 17, 1953]
Seattle heralded a “local boy makes good” story Wednesday when Rainier baseball owner Emil Sick announced that Dewey Soriano, a Seattle resident, had been appointed general manager of the Seattle baseball club for the 1954 season.
The appointment was made a few short hours after Leo Miller, Dewey’s predecessor, had resigned after season-long differences with club directors.
Sick’s rapid filling of his front office vacancy in his ball club surprised the entire baseball world. Soriano, 34-year-old general manager of the Vancouver Capilanos this summer, received his baptism in baseball’s intricate front office work as recently as 1949 in Yakima. His rise to lead the Open-Classification Rainiers, who play in a league one step below the majors, is the fastest the game ever recorded.
The announcement came as just a great surprise to Soriano as it did to everyone else.
“I have always regarded Seattle as better than some major league franchises presently operating,” he said. “Combine this with the fact that it is my home town, and you can imagine how overwhelmed I feel right now.”
Soriano takes over his new post October 1. Between now and then the vacancy in the Vancouver front office, which has been created through Dewey’s promotion, must be filled. Dewey left Vancouver Wednesday night and will meet with his boss, Emil Sick, this morning. High on the agenda is the naming of a new general manager for the Vancouver Capilanos.
It is just a guess who might be under consideration, but three names which definitely will be considered are Bill Brenner, general manager and playing manager with Lewiston this year; Hugh Luby, who held the same dual post with Salem; and Don Osborn, ditto at Spokane. Brenner is thought to have the inside track.
Soriano steps into the Seattle job after baseball’s bleakest year. The Rainiers drew only 224,000 people this season and lost $100,000 on their operation. One of Soriano’s jobs is to correct this situation.
“It can best be done through the development of young ball players,” Soriano said. “I’ll say this for sure. Bob Duretto, Jim Clark and Jack Bukowatz from the 1953 Capilanos will attend the Seattle spring training camp in Palm Springs next March. They will have at least a 50-50 chance of making out club.”
Soriano went on to explain that the arrangement which finds a “new deal” in Seattle’s front office would benefit the Capilanos, too.
“I can realized how what some Vancouver fans meant in recent years when they said the Rainiers never gave them a square deal. I’ll promise this. The Capilanos will be more than please with the tie-up with Seattle as long as I am calling the shots.”
Dewey will return to Vancouver on the weekend to clean up some year-end business for the Caps, then will be off to his next job permanently next week.

Brenner Has Inside Track in Handicap

[Vancouver News-Herald, Sept. 17, 1953]
The “General Manager’s Handicap” starts in Vancouver this morning. This is a sequel to that famous guessing Vancouver—“button, button, who’s got the button and Smith?”
A few hours after it had been announced that Soriano had been promoted to head the Seattle Rainiers’ front office, guesses began as to who would replace the likeable big fellow in Vancouver. After they had all been duly recorded and filed, the name “Bill Brenner” stood out as the most likely to succeed.
Nobody from Soriano down would say if anyone had been approached to become the Vancouver baseball general manager, but there are several reasons to believe that Brenner has already been picked, and that his appointment is merely a formality.
He Came Close Last Year
For one thing, Bill is right now in adjacent Bellingham supposedly visiting his in-laws. He is due in Vancouver on the weekend to sit down and tell a “few lies”—as they say in the baseball trade—with some old acquaintances.
For another thing, it is no secret that Brenner came within 24 hours of becoming Vancouver’s player-manager last season.
Soriano telephoned Bill one day last January with his proposition. Brenner accepted but advised that it be kept quiet for a few days because Bill had just 24 hours before signed with Lewiston and would have to get out of that contract first.
As soon as Soriano heard this he cancelled arrangements with Bill. He later explained that he did so, not because he didn’t want to sign Brenner, but because his signing with Vancouver might have meant a collapse of baseball in Lewiston.
City Club Needs a ‘Hypo’
There is a third, and maybe a more important, reason which points to “Sweet Will.” The Capilanos in 1953 drew only 75,535 people, the lowest in the post-war era. The club obviously needs some kind of a hypo for 1954. Brenner’s popularity, established mostly in his championship year here in 1947, is just that kind of hypo.
There is little doubt that Hugh Luby and Don Osborn will also rate consideration when Soriano meets with Emil Sick, owner of both the Seattle and Vancouver franchises.
However, it is our guess (and we feel a very good one), that within the next two weeks Bill Brenner will have been formally signed to guide the 1954 Capilanos as both General Manager and player manager.
It will be like old home week in the old town.

1 comment:

WIL fan said...

Claire_ICS comments...
We always hear about Dewey Soriano as a baseball player, manager, owner - and president (1960-1968) of the Pacific Coast League. My father, though, remembers Dewey and his brother Amigo as Puget Sound Pilots.

Dewey often travelled with Canadian pilots, switching command when they crossed the border, and the co-pilots would swap stories. My father Phil Toynbee was a BC Coast Pilot (1970-1990), but had been born in Port Angeles; Dewey was the reverse, he told Dad, he had been born in Prince Rupert BC.

My father, now 83, is still a big fan of the Seattle Mariners, and whenever I watch a game with him he recalls Dewey and Amigo Soriano.