Thursday, 31 July 2008

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.

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