todays’s fan fare
A Happy New Year at Cap Stadium?
By Eric Whitehead
[Vancouver Province, Dec. 16, 1953]
It won’t pack the emotional impact of the recent Bermuda parley , but this Thursday’s scheduled meeting between Bill Brenner and Dewey Soriano will at least provide a tasty news morsel that hibernating mammal, the baseball fan.
While the rest of us, courtesy Irving Berlin, are dreaming of a white Christmas, Brenner and Soriano are already dreaming of a green springtime, followed by a nice, green summer.
You will note the accent on the ‘green.’ It is by no mere coincidence that this is the color of that transient stuff that pauses briefly in wallets enroute to department stores.
Brenner and Soriano, freshmen general managers of Vancouver and Seattle baseball clubs respectively, fervently hope to substitute this color for the shocking-pink that is prevalent in practically all front-offices south of Milwaukee and Yankee Stadium.
Both Seattle and Vancouver, in keeping with the popular trend, finished up in the red last year. Seattle was in very deep; Vancouver, thanks to the sharp business acumen of Soriano, then the Cap G.M., was not near as bad as it might have been, and indeed was well up over the previous year.
Wellman In For Judnich?
As Seattle goes this year, so will go Vancouver, both percentage and money-wise. More than ever before—with Soriano a vice-president in the Cap organization—the Coast League and the WIL outfits will work hand-in-hand, or hand in pocket.
Dewey, whom we steadfastly admire as an extremely capable baseball man and front-office executive, is already deep in a rebuilding job gauged in producing a box-office ball club for the parent organization. He is dedicated to a ‘youth movement’—a clean sweep of tired old talent that knew how to win games but not how to influence people, as represented by customers.
Proof of this of course was his summary dismissal of slugging but aging (at 37) Walt Judnich, to make room for bids by such belting youths as (at 25) ex-Yakima outfielder Bob Wellman, who cuffed .350 and rammed in 111 runs last season.
First Shot At The Best…
Other young men who will get every break in the Seattle New Deal will be ’53 Caps Jim Clark, Bob Duretto and Jack Bukowatz. Soriano said his new field manager Gerry Priddy “ex” of those perennial pennant contenders, Detroit Tigers, are scouring the market for “left-handed pitching and speed.”
“Give us those,” said Dewey, “and we’ll make it rough for the rest of the league.” Meaning Hollywood.
With Seattle headed for a big player turnover, Vancouver will undoubtedly get the pick of the passing parade. Brenner will get that assurance, if it is needed, at Thursday’s confab.
Trueto the pattern he set during his whirlwind one-year term in the Cap Stadium front office, Soriano is planning a lot of promotional innovations for the Rainiers’ ’54 season. One ‘gimmick’ he’ll try for the first time will be a ‘Double-opening Day.’ The Suds kick off Tuesday, April 20, against Lefty O’Doul’s San Diego Padres with a night-opener—plus a special matinee pre-opener.
“I,” says Soriano kindly, “am only thinking of the night shift workers who might otherwise miss the big occasion.”